Illinois work zones are often a pain when drivers have somewhere to be. However, they are also dangerous to navigate, requiring the full attention of everyone traveling through them. Road construction creates certain hazards of its own. Yet, when other motorists drive negligently in construction zones, the risks compound further.
The Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association reports that each year, between 4,500 and 5,500 crashes take place in the state’s work zones. Many of these crashes result in at least one injury or fatality.
Work zone crash statistics
In 2017, there were 5,423 car wrecks in Illinois work zones, and 24 of them were fatal. The crashes that occurred in Illinois work zones that year produced 1,435 injuries and 30 road deaths. Most, or 95%, of the people who die in construction zone car crashes are not those working in the roads, but, rather, those driving or traveling in passenger vehicles in these areas. Drivers and passengers also experience 96% of all injuries suffered in work zone car wrecks.
Work zone safety tips
When possible, Illinois motorists may want to find alternative routes when they know work zones are present. Otherwise, they should slow down and devote their full attention to navigating the work zone safely while taking care to look for detours, emergency vehicles and flaggers working in the roads.
Some of the risks drivers face in work zones, such as loose gravel or visual obstructions, involve the construction itself. Others arise from drivers speeding, driving while distracted or driving under the influence while trying to navigate road construction.