From September 1, 2018, until the end of 2019, there were more than 1,500 auto accidents in construction zones on I-25.
Even as many people have been stuck at home during the pandemic, roadway projects have continued in some areas. And the warmer weather we’re now enjoying means that even more construction projects will be getting underway.
Drivers who are starting to get out more should be sure to check the latest updates about local and state projects. Detours and warnings may have changed dramatically over the past several weeks. If you’re inattentive as you approach a work zone, that could be dangerous for you and for road workers.
Follow work zone warnings.
According to a 2019 survey by the Associated General Contractors of America, 67 percent of highway contractors reported that a motorist crashed into one of their construction sites in 2019. Twenty-eight percent of construction firms who experienced work-zone accidents in that year report that one or more of their workers had been injured in such an accident. Eight percent report that one or more of their workers had died in such a crash.
Brian Turmail, national spokesman of the association, says there are “simply too many cars crashing into too many work zones, putting too many lives at risk.”
Yet passengers are often at even greater risk of injury or death when their vehicles are involved in a work-zone auto accident. Eighty-five percent of those killed in a work-zone accident are drivers or passengers.
Speeding in a work zone puts everyone in danger.
Speeding continues to be a primary reason for fatal crashes, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
A 2018 CDOT report indicates that 23 workers have been killed over the decades in Colorado, five within the last four years. One work zone that has become extremely dangerous for Colorado drivers is the I-25 gap between Monument and Castle Rock, where heavy construction to widen the road continues. A few months ago, car crashes rose by 60 percent along the $350 million construction area. From September 1, 2018, until the end of 2019, there were more than 1,500 auto accidents.
Tamara Rollison, a spokeswoman for the CDOT, stresses:
“You are driving through a work zone — a construction work zone in a place that has had a problem with a high rate of crashes to begin with, particularly with rear-end crashes. We have instituted a number of safety measures for this.”
But workers and agencies don’t have sole responsibility for the safety of work zones. Drivers need to be more aware of road construction than they sometimes are. In some instances, planning a completely different route to bypass construction will get you where you’re going faster as well as more safely. And if there’s no avoiding roadwork, you should abide by all traffic warnings and signals, never speed or tailgate, and never allow your attention to be diverted by cell phones or other distractions.
Patience is a virtue when it comes to road work. It’s slowing you down now, but you’ll be better off once the work has been completed.