Tennessee grapples with a concerning issue: the high number of crashes occurring within work zones. These zones are necessary to improve and maintain the state’s roads, but they often become hotspots for accidents.
To reduce the number of crashes in these zones, drivers, authorities and transportation officials must work together to prioritize safety and minimize the risks associated with work zone travel.
What causes work zone crashes
Increased traffic congestion in work zones is a frequent contributor to crashes. Work zones typically reduce the number of lanes available for traffic, leading to bottlenecks and slower-moving vehicles. This congestion increases the risk of rear-end collisions and sideswipes, especially during peak travel times.
Work zones also usually feature reduced speed limits to enhance safety. However, not all drivers adhere to these speed limits, which can lead to accidents. Speeding through work zones reduces a driver’s reaction time, making it difficult to stop in emergencies.
Distracted driving is another significant factor contributing to work zone crashes. Many drivers continue to use their phones, eat or engage in other distracting activities while passing through work zones. This lack of attention increases the likelihood of rear-end collisions and other accidents.
How to stop them
Enhancing the visibility and clarity of signage within work zones and ensuring road designs are intuitive can help reduce accidents. Enforcing speed limits and distracted driving laws within work zones is also necessary to promote safer driving behaviors. Furthermore, educational campaigns aimed at raising awareness about work zone safety can help drivers understand the importance of caution within these areas.
WREG notes that there were more than 14,080 work zone crashes in Tennessee over a recent five-year span. Those crashes led to 5,464 injuries and 83 fatalities, suggesting communities across the state must do more to reduce these numbers.