As temperatures rise and the days become longer, more and more construction workers are taking to California’s roadways to make necessary repairs and keep the roads suitable for use. Road construction, while common in most areas, is sometimes than just annoying – it is often dangerous to drive through, too.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration notes that your chance of losing your life in a construction zone is higher than it is when traveling along other, non-construction zone areas of the road. Between 2016 and 2017, for example, the number of roadway fatalities occurring across the nation declined by 1.5%. Roadway fatalities that occurred in work zones, however, rose 3% during this same timeline.

Work zone fatality statistics

In 2017 alone, 799 people died in wrecks that took place in construction zones, rising from 782 such road deaths the year prior. Also, while 658 of those road deaths involved people who were driving or riding in cars or trucks, pedestrians and cyclists were also occasional victims. That year, 136 pedestrians and cyclists lost their lives in crashes that took place in U.S. construction zones.

How speed factors in

While drivers who speed unnecessarily endanger everyone they come across, drivers who speed in construction zones present even more of a hazard. Research shows that speed was a factor in 203 of the 799 fatal construction zone crashes that occurred nationwide in 2017.

Road construction is an unavoidable and important part of modern society, but it is not without risks. You may not be able to control the actions of others traveling through construction zones, but by exercising vigilance when traveling through them, you may be able to minimize your chances of a serious injury or fatality.