Do construction zones cause more car accidents?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Blog, Motor Vehicle Accidents

As you drive on the highways and byways of our nation, you are likely to encounter construction zones. These zones, marked by signs, cones and often workers, are necessary for maintaining and improving our road infrastructure. Unfortunately, these construction areas are at a high risk of accidents. In 2019, the Department of Transportation reported that there were over 700 construction site car accidents in Massachusetts.

The correlation between construction zones and car accidents is undeniable, and understanding the causes can help motorists take appropriate precautions.

Changed traffic patterns

One of the primary reasons for increased accidents in construction zones is the changed traffic patterns. Construction areas often require lanes to narrow or shift, sometimes suddenly. These alterations can confuse drivers, particularly if the changes are not clearly marked or if the drivers are in unfamiliar areas. The result is often increased braking, rapid lane changes and ultimately, an increased risk of collisions.

Reduced speed limits

To ensure the safety of workers, construction zones typically have reduced speed limits. However, not all drivers adhere to these lower limits, which can create a dangerous disparity in the speeds of vehicles. Drivers who fail to reduce their speed appropriately can catch other drivers off guard, leading to rear-end collisions and other accidents.


Construction zones are often bustling with activity, from heavy machinery in operation to workers moving about. This activity can distract drivers, pulling their attention away from the road and other vehicles. In addition, many drivers are so focused on navigating through the construction zone that they may not notice slowing or stopped traffic ahead of them, increasing the risk of an accident.

Bad road conditions

Finally, road conditions in construction zones are often less than ideal. Loose gravel, uneven surfaces and temporary lanes all contribute to a more challenging driving environment. Drivers unfamiliar with these conditions can easily lose control of their vehicles, leading to accidents.

By understanding the reasons behind the increased risk of accidents in construction areas, drivers can become more aware of the hazards and adjust their driving accordingly.


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