FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – According to Indiana’s Department of Transportation, the state saw a surge in crashes at construction sites compared to 2019.

In 2020, there were 3,878 reported work zone crashes across the state. According to INDOT, that is nearly a thousand more incidents than 2019. Among those crashes, 26 people died.

Despite the rise in work zone crashes, northeast Indiana accounted for few of them. A spokesperson from INDOT says that only 251 (6.5%) of the 3,878 construction site crashes occurred in northeast Indiana.

“Obviously, we’d love those numbers to be zero,” said Hunter Petroviak, the public relations director for INDOT’s northeast district. “We don’t want to see any crashes in our work zones. But I guess if you look at it from a state perspective, the 251 out of 3,000 is a decently low number.”

Petroviak was unable to speculate on the exact cause behind the statewide surge in construction zone crashes, yet distracted driving and speeding tend to be contributing factors in these incidents.

As construction projects and travel continue to ramp up with the warmer weather, INDOT wants to remind commuters to be distraction free. Be aware of your surroundings when driving through a construction zone and go at the posted speed limit.