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The potential hazards of construction zones

Few, if any, drivers enjoy traveling on an old road that is either in desperate need of maintenance or a complete upgrade. For those who travel Highway 99 in California, the trade-off on a particular stretch involves a significant renovation that started last April but has resulted in dangerous and deadly consequences.

Initial accounts revealed a significant increase in crashes in the highway’s construction zones where four lanes are being repaved.

An unusually high number of accidents

A Freedom of Information Act request filed with the California Highway Patrol provided evidence of a significant problem, verifying a high number of motor vehicle crashes. Since the start of the project, nearly 200 accidents have occurred on that stretch of road, according to California Highway Patrol logs.

Some speculate that drivers are not aware of the work and fail to plan for the work that is being done on Highway 99. Others think that, despite the signage indicating construction work and lower posted speed limits, motor vehicle operators are simply not paying attention.

A majority of the reports claim that unsafe speeds are the primary factor in collisions. Other incidences are caused by improper lane changes and improper turns. Accidents that occur in construction sites not only injure the occupants of both vehicles but also create severe traffic backups, particularly on one-lane diverted roads, many measured in miles.

In response to a large number of accidents, more officers are now posted during heavier construction hours to warn drivers of the upcoming activity during the day to reduce the chances of traffic jams.

The project is scheduled to be completed towards the end of July, barring inclement weather and challenges in supply levels. For now, Californians driving in the area are encouraged to adapt to their surroundings and prevent serious, if not deadly, accidents.