Work Zones

In 2019, 842 people were killed and 39,100 people were injured in work zone crashes. Work zone crashes are defined as taking place within the boundaries of a work zone or on an approach to or exit from a work zone due to activities, behaviors, or controls related to traffic moving through the boundaries of a work zone.

Of the 842 fatalities:

  • 479 were in construction zones
  • 307 were in work zones of unknown type
  • 42 were in maintenance zones
  • 14 were in a utility zone

Work zone deaths reached a high in 2002, at 1,186. The fewest work zone deaths occurred in 2010, with 586. Since 2010, work zone deaths have increased 44%.

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Fatality data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows an average of 56 worker-pedestrians are killed per year after being struck by vehicles in work zones.

This estimate using BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) data is not fully comparable with the other National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data presented on this page. NHTSA data is limited to crashes on public roadways, while BLS worker fatality estimates include all work zone incidents, regardless of location.

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The majority of deaths in work zones are drivers of motor vehicles in transport. Vehicles involved in fatal crashes include both those engaged in construction activities as well as those traveling through a construction zone. Work zone deaths by type, from highest to lowest are:

  • Drivers of motor vehicles – 544 deaths (65%)
  • Passengers of motor vehicles – 144 deaths (17%)
  • Pedestrians – 130 deaths (15%)
  • Other and unknown – 14 deaths (2%)
  • Bicyclists – 10 deaths (1%)

Work zone death trends vary substantially by state. Use the interactive map to explore state trends by person type from 2009 through 2018.

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How to Use Injury Facts® Charts and Tables

Source: Overall work zone injury and fatality estimates are based on National Safety Council (NSC) analysis of NHTSA FARS and Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS) data sets. Worker fatality estimates are based on NSC analysis of BLS CFOI data using the pedestrian struck by vehicle in work zone event code.