Study Finds Distracted Drivers More at Risk in Work Zones

Distracted driving is never a good idea. Attempts to multitask while driving can have deadly results. It is crucial that drivers operate their vehicles safely, especially in work and construction zones. This is why fines for speeding and other violations are usually doubled in work zones. Work zone collisions are inherently high risk and occur all too frequently in this country. Now a new study from the University of Missouri finds that distracted drivers are 29 times more likely to cause a collision or a near-collision in a work zone.

Results of the Study

For purposes of the study, the term “distracted” was defined as using a cell phone for any reason while driving or focusing attention on a passenger rather than the road. The study looked at crash reports from 2006 to 2015 and analyzed how more than 3,000 drivers interacted with their vehicles, roadways, and the surrounding environment. Crash reports don’t typically detail the behavior of a driver before an accident, so the study used information about the vehicle, the driver, the roadway, and the environmental circumstances that contributed to the crash. The study found that drivers who were distracted were 29 times more likely than non-distracted drivers to cause a collision or near-collision in a work zone.

This is not surprising given that drivers who take their attention off the road are serious hazards. A car traveling at 55 miles per hour can go the length of a football field in five seconds. A driver checking a text message takes their eyes off the road for at least five seconds and is therefore essentially driving blind for an extended period of time. This is especially dangerous in work zones where drivers must pay attention to signs, signals, changes in lanes, and the behavior of workers and other vehicles.


 The study mentioned a number of solutions that can help curb the number of accidents in work zones. The study mentions the widening of lanes and lowering speed limits as being helpful solutions. However, the study noted that drivers must take responsibility for their own driving behavior in work zones. Education, the use of in-vehicle technology, and the enforcement of distracted driving laws are among the proposed solutions.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured in car accidents. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.