If you regularly drive in and around Columbus, you know the city is a hotbed for road construction. While road construction improves infrastructure in the area, it can be a pain for commuters. If someone drives irresponsibly, the pain of inconvenience may lead to physical pain for you.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 27,000 individuals died in crashes in construction zones between 1982 and 2017. A large number of others likely sustained serious injuries when driving or riding through construction areas. Here are four reasons that crashes happen in places where workers are repairing or building roads:

  1. Slower speeds 

Speeds through construction areas can drop considerably. Even though many workers do a good job of warning drivers about upcoming maintenance, reduced speeds in construction zones still catch motorists by surprise. If drivers fail to decelerate on time, a serious collision may become imminent.

  1. Fewer lanes 

To repair roadways, workers often need to reduce the number of driving lanes. This requires motorists to merge into lanes that remain open. With traffic congestion that is common in construction zones, conditions are ideal for automobile accidents.

  1. Rougher roads 

Repairing old, damaged or ineffective roads is not often a quick process. On the contrary, workers may need to strip away existing pavement before adding new layers of asphalt or concrete. If the road stays open during the project, drivers may encounter rough or uneven patches that may cause them to lose control of their vehicles.

  1. More debris 

When closing lanes or redirecting traffic, workers often use cones and pylons. If a driver hits one of these, debris may end up in the driving lane. As motorists swerve to miss road debris, they may inadvertently collide with other vehicles.

Even though driving through construction zones can be dangerous, you likely cannot avoid them altogether. While you may be able to pursue reasonable compensation from a negligent driver who causes a crash, you should exercise additional care in work areas. Understanding why collisions tend to occur in construction zones is a good first step.