Road construction is more or less unavoidable in Louisiana, with the state’s roadways regularly in need of repair or expansion, but for many drivers, navigating through road work zones can be confusing, stressful and difficult. Big trucks and large construction equipment can prove hard to see around, for example, and traffic patterns that change from one day to the next can confuse and endanger even local motorists. However, other drivers struggling to make their way through work zones also pose a substantial risk to the motoring public.

Just how much of a hazard is today’s growing number of work zones for Louisiana motorists?

By the numbers

Work zone crashes are undeniably on the rise across the nation, with the number of work-zone-related crashes rising nearly 8 percent between 2014 and 2015. In total, 96,626 work zone car crashes occurred in the United States in 2015, with more than a quarter of all those crashes resulting in at least one injury. The year prior, in 2014, 669 people lost their lives in car crashes that happened in work zones, which equated to 2 percent of all road deaths that occurred nationally that year. 

Common work zone crash factors

Many car accidents that take place in work zones involve common elements. Speed, for example, was a factor in 28 percent of all fatal work zone crashes that occurred in 2014, while alcohol was a factor in 25 percent of them. These numbers suggest that when drivers abuse alcohol or drive too fast, they have an even harder time navigating their way through obstructions and other hazards associated with work zones, compounding danger for everyone on the roadway.

While avoiding road construction entirely is unrealistic, you can do your part to enhance safety by always staying vigilant and exercising extreme care when making your way through work zones. There is only so much you can do, however, when others behave negligently and fail to do the same.