Survey shows work-zone crashes are on the rise

Survey shows work-zone crashes are on the rise

An annual survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and HCSS (Heavy Construction Systems Specialists) showed that accidents in highway construction work zones worsened in the past year, with 64% of respondents reporting a crash on a project — up from 60% in 2021.

Traffic jam with people standing in the road next to the traffic jam

One or more construction workers were injured in 18% of the incidents, nearly the same as the previous survey, with 7% of those resulting in a death — up from 4%. In addition, 41% of companies said the drivers or passengers in the vehicles were injured, up from 35% last year, with 15% resulting in a fatality, which is a 3% rise.

Respondents indicated that the use of drivers’ mobile phones, high speeds and heavy traffic were key causes of the crashes.

Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist, said the pandemic played a role as drivers got used to going faster when there was less traffic, and “they haven’t slowed down.” He added that “if anything, phones have gotten even more distracting, and the results are even more tragedies.”

AGC asked respondents for suggestions to reduce crashes; 81% said a greater police presence in work zones would help, and 67% indicated that stricter enforcement of laws would be beneficial.