We’ve just past the 20th anniversary of the National Work Zone Awareness Week, which is embraced by departments of transportation all around the nation as a way to remind everyone that traveling through a work zone requires a little extra care.

Right now, there’s a lot less traffic than normal on the highways, and that could be problematic. When the roads are congested, traffic tends to naturally slow down a little near a work zone. The authorities are well-aware that some drivers are taking the wide-open roads as an invitation to speed on through — and that could prove fatal to workers, drivers and their passengers. In fact, when fatal accidents happen around a work zone, it’s a driver or their passenger that ends up killed four out of every five times.

Illinois has over 5,100 crashes every year in work zones, which leads to around 30 deaths and about 1,400 injuries. With that in mind, the authorities want drives to remember the following safety precautions around constructions:

  • Put down your phone. It’s a huge source of unnecessary distractions when you’re behind the wheel.
  • Pay attention to construction signs and act on them. Don’t wait until the last minute to try to merge into the open lane.
  • Slow down when you approach the work zone. Road crews depend on drivers to take it easy around the site for safety.

You can do your part to make the roads a little safer this summer by remembering the mantra, “See orange. Slow down. Save lives.” Unfortunately, no matter how cautious you are, you can’t control what other drivers do — and there are plenty of negligent and reckless motorists out there. If you end up in a wreck in a construction zone this summer, find out how you can seek compensation for your losses.