Work zones are a common sight on Illinois roadways, often leading to a significant increase in car accidents.
Although typically marked by orange cones and flashing signs to ensure the safety of both road workers and drivers, they can become hotspots for collisions and accidents.
1. Inadequate signage and warning
One major contributor to car accidents in work zones is inadequate signage and warning systems. Drivers not properly alerted to the presence of a work zone may not reduce their speed or change lanes as required. When people lack awareness while driving, it can result in rear-end collisions, sideswipes and other accidents.
2. Speeding and recklessness
Speeding is a common problem in work zones, as some drivers fail to reduce their speed to match the posted limits. This recklessness can lead to accidents when drivers cannot react quickly enough to changing road conditions or unexpected obstacles.
3. Distracted driving
Distracted driving poses an increasingly worrisome issue on all roadways. Motorists who partake in actions such as sending text messages, conversing on the phone or manipulating their GPS while traversing a construction zone are at a heightened risk of instigating collisions.
4. Unpredictable weather conditions
Illinois experiences a wide range of weather conditions throughout the year, from heavy rain to snow and ice. These weather challenges can make work zones even more hazardous. Drivers must adjust their driving habits based on the weather conditions to prevent accidents in work zones.
Of the 141 work zone fatalities in the state between 2017 and 2021, 136 were vehicle drivers or passengers. That serves as a reminder for drivers to remain vigilant while driving on roads under construction.