Work zones are tough to avoid when you travel Ohio by car, but these construction zones create numerous hazards for drivers. The number of crashes occurring in Ohio’s work zones has risen steadily in recent years, reaching an all-time high in 2019.
According to Cleveland 19, there were a total of 6,574 work zone car wrecks in Ohio in 2019 alone. Those 6,574 crashes resulted in 1,121 injuries and 16 fatalities, raising important questions about how communities might enhance safety in these areas.
The hazards created by Ohio’s work zones are numerous. Some construction zone car crashes occur because motorists navigating these areas have a hard time adjusting or recognizing new traffic patterns. Sometimes, detours are unclear, traffic cones may be missing or construction vehicles or signs may inhibit drivers’ ability to see.
Other times, work zone car crashes are the direct result of other drivers’ negligence. Many such crashes involve rear-end collisions and result from drivers either driving too fast or following other vehicles too closely. The Ohio Department of Transportation reports that the majority of work zone car wrecks involve drivers rear-ending other motorists.
Many work zone car crashes also involve motorists who were driving while distracted. Cellphone use is a common contributing factor. Other forms of distracted driving, such as grooming oneself or reading maps, may also contribute to rising work zone crash rates.
Ohio safety officials urge state motorists to exercise extreme caution when navigating construction zones. When approaching work zones, slow your vehicle and make sure to leave workers plenty of room. When stopping, tap your brakes a few times to make sure those driving behind you know you are slowing to a stop.