Work Zone Fatalities Have Increased 63% Since 2010

When an individual is hit by a car, chances of survival vary depending on the speed of the vehicle. At 20 mph, the person has a 90% chance of surviving, but at 30 mph, that chance drops to 60%. At 40 mph, it’s only 20%.

The National Safety Council analyzed National Highway Traffic and Safety Admistration (NHTSA) data and discovered that approximately 30% of all fatal crashes in 2021 were related to speeding. That’s the third consecutive year with an increase in speeding-related deaths. Speeding is especially risky in work zones, where fatalities have increased 63% since 2010.

Work Zone Speeding is Risky

Work zones are areas of roadways that are undergoing construction, maintenance, or utility work. Although drivers tend to slow down in work zones, studies have shown that they often don’t reduce to the posted speed limit. Factors such as traffic delays, weather conditions, lighting, and work zone signage that remains posted when no workers are present all contribute to this behavior.

Keeping Workers Safe

So, what can be done to decrease speeding in work zones and keep workers safe? One effective change is to use variable speed limits (VSLs). These limits are adjusted based on factors like weather conditions or traffic volume. The Ohio Department of Transportation shared that VSLs helped to reduce crash rates by over 35% in seven years when they were implemented on a portion of I-9.

Electronic speed feedback signs can also help by showing drivers their current speed and reminding them of the posted speed limit. These signs can lead to a reduction of speed by about 5 mph in the areas where they are used. Flashing LED signs and radar can be used to warn drivers of upcoming work zones. A pilot program of Smart Work Zone technology in active work zones in Florida helped increase safe driving behavior by 43%.

Keeping work zones safe is a complex issue, but new technology may help reduce speed-related crashes in these areas. Drivers should follow all regulatory and safety roadway messages while remaining alert to changes in traffic conditions.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.