Work zones are common across much of Tennessee as communities continue to grow and more motorists travel the same roads. However, research shows that an increasing number of crashes, injuries and fatalities are taking place in construction zones across the state.
According to WREG, more than 14,000 work zone crashes took place across Tennessee between early November of 2014 and early November of 2019.
Work zone crash statistics
Of the 14,082 construction zone car crashes that took place over this five-year period, 83 deaths and 5,464 injuries resulted. In 2018 alone, there were 13 fatalities in Tennessee work zones and another 183 serious injuries. Between the beginning of 2019 and the end of September that same year, Tennessee’s construction zones saw 501 car wrecks and seven fatalities.
Work zone crash hazards
There are many reasons work zones see high numbers of car wrecks, many of which involve injuries or road deaths. Sometimes, circumstances relating to the actual construction contribute to crashes. For example, unclear detours, loose gravel or visual obstructions due to signs or construction vehicles often play a role in work zone crashes. Other times, motorists who speed, fail to pay attention or drive too close behind other motorists cause work zone wrecks. Many crashes that take place in work zones also involve alcohol. Rear-end collisions are also particularly common in these areas.
Tennessee transportation officials are working to raise awareness and enhance safety in the state’s work zones. However, drivers may want to exercise extreme vigilance when navigating these areas to avoid involvement in a work zone wreck.