Work zones are a necessary part of life in Illinois, but for many motorists, these areas prove difficult to navigate. The state’s work zones are a common site for car wrecks, with thousands of crashes, many of which involve at least one injury or fatality, taking place in them each year.
Per the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, somewhere between about 4,500 and 5,500 crashes take place in the state’s work zones annually.
Illinois work zone crash statistics
In 2017, there were 5,423 car wrecks in Illinois work zones. Those 5,423 wrecks also caused 1,435 injuries and 30 road deaths, raising questions about what Illinois communities might do to protect their residents in these areas. Research shows that fatalities in Illinois work zones are also on the rise, increasing 1.1% between 2016 and 2017.
Illinois work zone crash hazards
Why is it that crashes are so common in construction zones? Part of the problem involves other drivers who exercise negligence in these areas. Some work zone crashes occur because drivers are on their phones, under the influence of alcohol or traveling above the posted speed limit. Other times, work zone crashes occur because of issues created by the actual road construction. Loose gravel, potholes and unclear detours or signage may also contribute to Illinois work zone crash rates.
Safety advocates recommend slowing down and tapping your brakes before coming to a stop in work zones. Avoid using your phone while navigating them, too, even if you have hands-free technology in place.