(COLORADO) — The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) shared the top factors for crashes in construction zones, with a third of crashes caused by drivers following too closely to the vehicle in front of them.

CSP said construction zones have lower speed limits and high-visibility warning devices for a reason, as these areas can be dangerous and deadly for roadside workers.

“Road work can be frustrating and sometimes confusing. This is exactly why it is each driver’s responsibility to stay focused on the task of driving while following traffic rules,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “There is no other way to say this – people’s lives are depending on you. Construction zones require extra caution”

According to CSP, troopers investigated 1,138 crashes in construction zones across the state in 2022. A third of crashes were caused by drivers tailgating the vehicle in front of them. The second most common was a lane violation in a construction zone, and the third was distracted driving.

“Give some space to the driver in front of you. By removing the space, you are decreasing the amount of time and room you have to react to the driver braking or swerving for road debris, dips, bumps, equipment, or people,” explains Col. Packard. “Larger following distances give the time you need to avoid a crash.”

April 17 is the start of National Work Zone Awareness Week and CSP said with the warmer weather, Colorado communities will see an increase in road construction projects.