An average of more than three people are killed or injured in Belgium every day as a result of a road accident linked to roadworks, according to the traffic study organisation Vias.
Last year, the total came to 884 accidents involving 16 fatalities and 1,164 injuries.
The number of accidents is up 19% compared to 2014 – 14% on the motorway and 21% on other roads.
The regions differ widely, but all saw increases: 123% in Brussels, 23% in Wallonia, and 9% in Flanders.
Half of all accidents on the motorway – all figures relate only to accidents involving roadworks – involve a lorry – almost double the 25% of accidents in general that involve a lorry.
Vans are involved in 25% of accidents on the motorway compared to 17% in general.
Accidents involving the two types of vehicles are 30% more dangerous than accidents as a whole, accounting for 40 deaths per 1,000 accidents, compared to 31 deaths off the motorway.
Vias research points the finger at two main causes: driving at a speed inappropriate to the conditions, and distraction – both circumstances which can occur at any time, but which could be made worse by the presence of roadworks.
Another aggravating factor common to roadworks is the narrowing of lanes.
“Driving too fast could be dangerous for the workers, but could also cause them stress and damage their health,” Vias said. “More noise, more wind, more pollution.”
Earlier this week a road worker was killed in an accident on the E42 at Temploux, a suburb of Namur. He was in charge of signals at the roadworks site when he was hit by a car trying to avoid another accident in which a lorry ran into another vehicle.
He died on the spot, while a colleague is recovering from serious injuries.
The Brussels Times