Work Zone Crashes

Alabama celebrated “Work Zone Awareness” back in April to heighten awareness about the dangers of driving in work zones and also to encourage motorists to drive with caution in these areas.

Road construction and maintenance are a necessity to preserve and build the nation’s system of state, U.S. and interstate highways and local roadways as well.  We all know what a hassle driving through highway work zones can be as not only do they slow our commute down, but provide hazards to the motorist and construction worker, too. 

Although the nation as a whole saw a decrease in work zone accidents and fatalities in 2010, the state of Alabama actually saw an increase in these statistics.  There were more than 2,970 crashes  in Highway Work Zones in Alabama in 2010, resulting in 825 injuries and 22 fatalities.  This was an increase from 2009, when there were 2,373 crashes resulting in 682 injuries and 10 fatalities. 

One would think the greatest danger of a crash in a work zone would be to a construction worker, but data points out this is not true.  Four out of five people killed in work zones are drivers and passengers, which illustrate that the greatest danger is not to the workers but to the traveling public.  The main cause for these work zone related crashes include alcohol, speeding and distraction.  According to Alabama Transportation Director John Cooper, most work zone crashes “can be avoided if drivers slow down, pay attention and don’t drive while impaired.”  He added that the increase in Alabama “signals a need for more public awareness stressing to motorists to drive with caution in work zones to help save lives.”  Improvements in safety, education and driver behavior will make Alabama highways safer for both driver and for work zone construction workers.