SYLACAUGA, Ala.- We are in the midst of National Work Zone Awareness Week. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), road builders, contractors and local officials are joining together to encourage motorists to slow down in work zones, eliminate all distractions, pay attention to all signage and be vigilant for all roadway workers.

The theme ALDOT is emphasizing for Work Zone Awareness Week is “Work Zone Safety Is In Your Hands.” ALDOT hopes to help drivers understand their role in keeping work zones around the state safe for motorists and workers alike.

According to Allison Green with ALDOT, there were 2,027 work zone crashes in Alabama in 2016, resulting in 14 fatalities and 645 injuries. This report indicates a decrease in work zone deaths and injuries compared to the previous year. Green said there were 2,452 work zone crashes in 2015, resulting in 21 deaths and 705 injuries.

One of the 2016 deaths occurred during Work Zone Awareness Week when two ALDOT employees were struck by a vehicle on Interstate 65 north of Priceville. “This tragic incident is a sobering reminder that we all must do everything we can to keep our highways safe,” said ALDOT Director John Cooper. “Motorists must slow down, watch out for highway workers and safely move over when passing work crews.”

Green said a common misconception is that most of those killed in work zone accidents are workers, but studies show that 80% of people killed are motorists.

ALDOT is offering these tips for driving safely in work zones:

  • Know before you go. Check ALGOTraffic.com to find out if there are construction work zones along your path and allow extra time to navigate those areas.
  • Stay alert and pay attention. Don’t drive distracted by texting, eating or other activities that take your hands off the wheel. Look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers.
  • Merge safely. If the number of lanes are reduced, drivers should not speed to try and pass other vehicles as they merge into the work zone.
  • Slow down. If you’re speeding, you may encounter slowed or stopped traffic within seconds.
  • Don’t tailgate. Maintain a safe distance on all sides of your vehicle.

For more information on National Work Zone Awareness Week click here.

Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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