Road-based construction zones tend to bring out the worst in people. Drivers become aggressive because of the perceived inconvenience. They may not follow the proper rules for completing a zipper merge and may drive aggressively when approaching or exiting a construction zone.
New York experiences quite a few streets closed and highways restricted to limited lanes during the warmer seasons to repair roads before temperatures drop again. Unfortunately, drivers are at higher risk now than just a few years ago for collisions in those construction zones. The workers are at higher risk, and so are drivers, cyclists and pedestrians passing through construction sites.
Crashes near work zones are on the rise
According to crash data, the number of work zone traffic fatalities has risen in recent years. Workers aren’t the only ones affected. The overall number of fatal crashes in work zones increased by 1.4%, and many of these collisions involved speeding. The number of cyclists and pedestrians who died in a work zone increased by 21% during that same time.
Many crashes in work zones involve two vehicles or a vehicle hitting a pedestrian or cyclist. However, collisions also involve commercial vehicles or even drivers colliding with machinery.
How can drivers avoid such collisions?
Whenever possible, leaving a little extra time for the commute when construction may be on the way could help someone make better choices if they get delayed in traffic. When approaching a construction zone, drivers need to be aware of their increased crash risk and the possible sources of that risk.
Distraction is a significant concern. People may pick up their phones or multitask when they slow down around a construction zone. They may also look at workers and have the equipment instead of the vehicles around them, which could lead to a preventable collision. Giving other cars plenty of space, observing one’s surroundings and slowing down are all critical steps for those hoping to minimize their risk of a crash during construction season in New York.
Adjusting driving habits to reflect known risk factors can help some avoid car wrecks. Understanding the kinds of behavior that contribute to crashes can also inspire victims to seek legal guidance to hold others accountable after a dangerous crash.