Whether you work or live in Chicago, chances are you encounter some road construction whenever you are behind the wheel. It could be frustrating and confusing for drivers, but these work zones can also be highly dangerous.
Unfortunately, the last year has proven that crashes still happen in construction zones even when there are fewer vehicles on the road. In fact, crash rates in the U.S. reportedly increased.
More construction, fewer cars
Over the 12 months, the pandemic has resulted in more people working from home, school closures and canceled events. Thus, people had fewer places to drive.
Because of that, construction projects ramped up across the country.
According to reports, transportation agencies and developers believe that crashes have increased because although fewer drivers are on the road, those who are behind the wheel can be more reckless than usual.
Further, they acknowledge that the increase in construction projects could catch drivers off guard and create confusion.
In addition to these factors, there are still distracted drivers, unsafe work zones and other negligent behaviors that can happen at any time.
Who is paying the price?
Construction workers and motorists alike are facing the consequences of the increased crash risks in construction zones.
Workers can be in danger of getting struck by a speeding car or truck, despite protections like barrels and visibility gear. Drivers and their passengers can be hurt or killed when someone loses control of their vehicle.
To protect everyone, state, federal and private agencies are working together to turn this trend around. Some possible resolutions include wearable technology for construction workers to alert them of nearby hazards, improved work zone safety training and tougher laws.
Whether these measures move ahead and prove to be effective or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, motorists and construction workers alike should keep safety their top priority in work zones. Failing to do so can lead to mistakes and car crashes that can have catastrophic consequences for everyone involved.