Are Car Accidents More Common in Construction Zones?

April 12, 2023
On behalf of The Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg Posted in Car Accident

Practicing safe driving habits is important in any setting. However, this may be particularly important when driving in a construction zone. Because there are people at work nearby, you need to obey the rules of the road and remain aware of your surroundings to avoid causing harm.

You must also consider how driving in a construction zone can impact your own odds of being harmed in an accident resulting from the negligence of another party. Because construction zones are busy and congested areas, where distractions may be more abundant than usual, you may understandably wonder whether accidents are fairly common in them. The following overview will help you better understand this somewhat nuanced topic.

What You Need to Know About Accident Rates in Construction Zones

Research indicates that every year, approximately 39,000 injuries are sustained and about 700 people lose their lives in construction zone accidents on roads in the United States. Additionally, about 24% of highway congestion is due to construction zones. High congestion can theoretically lead to a high risk of accidents occurring.

That said, researchers have also found that the rate of accidents in construction zones might actually be lower than it is elsewhere. This appears to be the case when the number of miles driven in construction zones and the number of miles driven outside of them are properly accounted for.

There is essentially no absolute consensus regarding whether one is more or less likely to be involved in an accident when driving in a construction zone. However, there are certain factors that could theoretically increase one’s chances of being harmed in a collision when driving on a road that’s under construction. They include the following:

  • Narrow lanes: In construction zones, the number of open lanes on a highway may be reduced. The available lanes may also be narrower than usual. This can require motorists to be more cautious. If a driver isn’t careful, an accident could happen.
  • Speed discrepancies: The speed limit in a construction area will virtually always be lower than the normal speed limit on a highway. The problem is, not all drivers reduce their speed properly when entering construction zones. This can result in an inconsistent flow of traffic that may increase the odds of accidents occurring.
  • Distractions: The presence of nearby construction work can potentially distract a driver. If they’re not paying attention to the road, they may be at greater risk of causing a collision.
  • Surface changes: It’s not uncommon for the quality of a road surface to change suddenly when you enter a construction area. If a driver is not anticipating this change, it could impact their control over their vehicle.

That said, it’s worth noting that law enforcement may have a greater presence at or near construction zones. This could help mitigate the chances of being involved in an accident.

Regardless, if you drive in or around Los Angeles, you know that construction zones are fairly common in this area. You may thus be involved in an accident while driving in one.

This can happen even if you’re careful. For example, perhaps you’ve been involved in an accident resulting from the negligence of another party.

Review your case with a Los Angeles car accident attorney if so. At the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg, we’ll explain whether you may have grounds to seek financial compensation. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 310-340-2780.