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Slow down: work ahead on North Carolina streets and highways

It's an annual tradition: the streets and highways leading in and out of Charlotte slow down as the summer construction season grinds on. Sometimes sections of I-85, I-77 and I-277 seem like the slowest routes to take because of construction work zones.

Unsurprisingly, some drivers want to as rapidly as possible through the zones, even though they put themselves, workers and other motorists in danger of being involved in motor vehicle accidents resulting in serious injuries.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says on its website that last year there were 5,831 crashes in construction work zones in our state. That is up more than 1,000 wrecks over 2015 when there were 4,635 crashes.

Each year over the past five years, there has been a dramatic upward shift in the construction zone accidents. As recently as 2012, there were 3,277 accidents in the work areas, NCDOT says.

As a result of last year's crashes, nearly 3,100 people were injured in construction, maintenance and utility work zones across North Carolina. Twenty-six people lost their lives in those accidents, including two workers.

The two most common causes of the crashes are predictable: distracted driving and excessive speed. More than half of all work-zone accidents involve those two factors.

The vast majority of crashes occur on clear and dry days during daylight hours, so excuses for the accidents are at a minimum. Many would argue that all of the crashes are completely preventable.

For those injured by another driver's recklessness or inattention, an experienced Charlotte personal injury attorney can help you pursue full compensation for all damages.

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