Though it is difficult to avoid road construction when making your way across Texas by car, you may want to work harder to find alternative routes, given just how often work zones are a factor in car crashes. Furthermore, the number of car crashes where work zones are a factor is on the rise across the nation, with many construction zone crashes leading to serious injuries and fatalities.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration reports that, while the number of crashes that happened in the nation’s work zones rose nearly 8 percent between 2014 and 2015, the number jumped 42 percent between 2013 and 2015. A total of 96,626 crashes took place in road construction zones in 2015, alone, with 12 fatal work zone crashes occurring across the nation every week.

Why are road construction zones such a common element in car crashes? For starters, the dangers work zones present are two-fold. First, you face obvious hazards relating to the construction itself, which might include obstructions in the road, loose pavement or unusual or unfamiliar traffic patterns and detours, among others. While navigating around these potential hazards can lead to crashes, other drivers who are trying to do the same in work zones also present a threat to you.

Drivers who are speeding or consuming alcohol before driving through road construction are particularly threatening, according to recent statistics. Of the 607 fatal crashes that took place in road construction zones in 2014, for example, 132 of them also involved alcohol. Similarly, speeding was a factor in nearly 30 percent of 2014’s fatal construction zone crashes.

This information about construction zone crashes is educational in nature and not a substitute for legal advice.