TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It's National Work Zone Awareness Week and federal, state and local transportation departments are working to bring attention to the importance of being alert when driving in work zones.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, seven people died in work zones crashes on Arizona highways in 2016.
There were 27 crashes in which someone was seriously injured.
Edward Bonn, a transportation street maintenance supervisor for the Tucson Department of Transportation, said he has been hit by a car three times.
"All it takes is for someone to get hit once and that could end their career and their life," he said.
He believes speeding, rubberneck and distracted driving are to blame for most of the accidents.
"Now it has gotten real dangerous with the texting so they will be veering off into the lane and take out a whole set of cones because they are on the phone or texting," Bonn said.
ADOT put out the follow tips to keep in mind when driving through work zones:
- Pay attention: Observe and obey posted warning signs, as well as flaggers. You can be cited for disobeying a flagger’s directions.
- Expect the unexpected: Speed limits might be lowered, travel lanes could be narrowed or eliminated and people may be working near your travel lane.
- Slow down: Speeding is one of the leading causes of work-zone crashes.
- Merge safely: Do it early and carefully or as directed by signage instead of barging into a line of vehicles at the last moment.
- Don’t tailgate: The most common crash in a work zone is the rear-end collision. Don’t follow too closely and, again, slow down.
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