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Road construction is difficult to avoid when you are traveling Oregon’s roadways, but you would be wise to exercise vigilance when making your way through it. Each year, hundreds of people who live in and travel to the state get into crashes in work zones, and some of those crashes result in serious injuries or fatalities.

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, the state sees an average of 488 work zone car wrecks each year. Also, an average of five people die in work zone car crashes in Oregon annually, while about 18 crashes every year result in at least one serious injury or fatality.

Top causes of work zone crashes

While construction zones often create many hazards, several behaviors are the most frequent causes of construction zone car wrecks. Speed is a major one. While speeding is dangerous anywhere, drivers who speed through work zones create especially dangerous conditions. Many Oregon motorists also exacerbate work zone risks by driving too fast while it is raining, snowing or sleeting.

Driver inattentiveness is another common cause of wrecks in work zones. Driver inattentiveness might include anything from a driver using his or her phone while navigating a work zone to a motorist eating or drinking behind the wheel while doing the same.

Recommended safety protocols

You may be able to lower your chances of involvement in a work zone car crash by taking care to acknowledge and heed all flaggers and signage present in the area. It may also help to make a habit of slowing down and tapping your brakes a few times when approaching a construction zone.