While the total number of road deaths across the United States has declined in recent years, the number of people dying in construction zones has risen during that same span. This suggests that while driving through road construction is time-consuming and often frustrating, it is also undeniably dangerous. 

How often are Americans losing their lives in work zone car wrecks, and what are some of the contributing factors? 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, work zones are responsible for 10% of all highway congestion, and they are also the sites of hundreds of fatalities each year. 

Statistics surrounding work zone road deaths 

Between 2016 and 2017, the number of individuals who lost their lives on the nation’s roads declined by 1.5%. The number of fatalities occurring in road construction zones rose by 3% during that time, however, with nearly 800 people dying in these zones in 2017. 

Factors contributing to work zone deaths 

Why are construction zone deaths increasing, and what are some of their common causes? Part of the reason for the uptick may involve the fact that communities continue to expand. With that comes a need for more roads and infrastructure to serve these growing cities and towns. 

Driver behaviors may also contribute to the rising number of fatalities taking place in the nation’s work zones. Drivers who were speeding in these areas contributed to 203 of 2017’s 799 work zone fatalities. Driver distraction may also be a contributing factor. Drivers who use their cellphones while driving, for example, may be less likely to navigate work zones successfully or make sudden stops when necessary. More about car crashes is available on our webpage.