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Assuming you have lived in the Columbus area longer than a couple of weeks, you probably know central Ohio has a significant amount of road construction. You may not, though, realize automobile accidents are common in construction zones. If you are not careful, you may sustain a serious injury in a work area. 

According to the Federal Highway Administration, a work zone crash in the United States occurs roughly every five minutes. In 2015, there were more than 95,000 wrecks in construction zones. If you want to arrive at your destination safely, you must understand why these accidents happen. Here are four reasons accidents occur in construction zones: 

1. Traffic patterns regularly change 

If you drive the same stretch of road every day, you probably know how traffic flows. Through construction zones, though, traffic patterns regularly change. Reducing your speed and watching for road signs are usually effective ways to navigate through a construction area without incident. 

2. Construction vehicles move in unpredictable ways 

In construction zones, workers use large trucks and other vehicles to build roads or repair existing stretches of highway. Construction vehicles often drive slowly, make sudden stops and otherwise move in strange or unpredictable ways. If you are not paying attention, you may not have sufficient time to avoid an accident. The same is true for other motorists who may collide with your vehicle while trying to avoid construction trucks. 

3. Roads have damage or other hazards   

The purpose of road construction is not always to build new roadways. Sometimes, road crews must fix existing highways or streets that have sustained damage. As you probably know, driving over a damaged or hazardous section of roadways could cause your vehicle to have mechanical problems. Conditions may also be perfect for causing a wreck. 

4. Speed limits fluctuate 

In long expanses of road construction, speed limits tend to fluctuate wildly. That is, you may see the speed limit increase or drop through the construction area. If you are not careful, you may drive too fast for road conditions. Moreover, other drivers may not realize they need to adjust their speeds to stay safe. 

Motor vehicle accidents can cause significant property damage, serious injuries or death. Fortunately, you can likely avoid a construction zone accident by driving both carefully and defensively. Also, by recognizing why road construction accidents occur, you can better plan for traveling safely through work zones.