Throughout much of 2020, most Americans have spent the majority of their time at home. The pandemic shut down states for weeks at a time, and any workers who could do their work remotely were asked to do so. One result of this change is that traffic has gone way down in basically every state.
But traffic accidents have not fallen at an equal rate. Based on the data, it seems as though many people who continue to drive are driving more recklessly than before. And according to a recent report from the PEW Charitable Trusts, traffic accidents in work zones have spiked in many parts of the country.
The Federal Highway Administration has warned that although overall traffic dropped as much as 40 percent in some months earlier this year, certain states have actually seen an increase in traffic accidents. One of the biggest problems is speeding. There have been a number of cases in which drivers were arrested for extreme speeding or involved in crashes driving at well over 100 mph. Some of these crashes occurred in work zones, which typically have a speed limit lower than in the surrounding area.
Distracted driving is another major issue. Combined with speeding, these two behaviors are a recipe for disaster.
Although it is very important to focus on the safety of road crews in work zones, it is not just workers who get injured and killed in work zone accidents. Other drivers can also become victims. In 2018, for instance, there were 755 deaths in work zone accidents nationwide, but the road workers accounted for just 124 of these deaths. Accidents in these zones are highly dangerous for everyone.
If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed by a negligent car or truck driver in a work zone accident, please know that you have legal options, including filing a civil lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death. In doing so, you can work to recover the costs of medical bills, lost wages and other expenses associated with the crash. But you will also send a message that those who choose to endanger the lives of others by driving recklessly will be held accountable.