WSDOT Study: Washington Drivers aren’t aware of work zones

RENTON, Wash. — “National Work Zone Awareness Week” starts next week, but recent data shows some drivers in Washington haven’t been very aware of work zones so far this year.

WSDOT revealed staggering statistics from work zone crashes last year.

According to WSDOT, there were ten fatal crashes, 28 serious injury crashes, 341 minor injury crashes, and 849 property damage-only crashes.

These numbers are not just statistics, they represent lives lost, families shattered, and communities scarred.

The counties with the four highest-crash numbers were King (454), Snohomish (173), Pierce (121), and Clark (101). Three of these counties were the scenes of multiple crashes just this week.

On Monday, four crashes in WSDOT work zones were reported within 24 hours, with the first three occurring within 12 hours.

We’ve learned that one occurred in Everett on I-5, two on I-405 between Renton and Bellevue, and the fourth in Vancouver.

The crash in Vancouver is the second one this year. The first crash in that area involved a driver who was allegedly under the influence. That crash landed six workers in the hospital. So far, in 2024, 10 workers have been injured due to collisions in work zones.

WSDOT says the top three causes for 2023 work zone collisions were:

  • Following too closely
  • Excessive speed
  • Inattention/distracted driving

“We have crashes all year, but the number of people sent to the hospital in the first three months is concerning to us,” said Barbara LaBoe, spokesperson for Washington’s Department of Transportation.

The solution is simple: pay attention and drive safely.

“You know we can do all that we can by setting up traffic control plans, equipment, cones, and signs, but we also need the public to participate and have safe driving behaviors through work zones,” said Aisha Dayal, a Washington Department of Transportation spokesperson.