12 people died in work zone crashes in Kentucky in 2017, a numbe - WDRB 41 Louisville News

12 people died in work zone crashes in Kentucky in 2017, a number KYTC hopes to improve this year

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Distracted driving in work zones across Kentucky has become a growing problem.

In 2017, there was a 33 percent increase in work zone crashes, and 12 people lost their lives. So as part of National Work Zone Safety Week, the Big Four and Lincoln Bridges are illuminated orange.

"People need to start realizing that they need to slow down and stay alert driving through work zones," said Andrea Clifford with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Clifford said a majority of the more than 1,000 work zone crashes in 2017 were due to distracted driving.

"Eighty percent of the time, the crashes that happen in a work zone impact the motorists rather than a highway worker," she said. "They're looking at their phones, they're eating, they're fooling with the radio, and we really need them to stay alert."

The construction season will soon be starting for 2018, so Clifford said people must pay attention to the road signs.

"They're there to help you navigate the work zone more safely," she said. "Imagine if your own work station had traffic whizzing by at 55 miles per hour. That's kind of a scary situation."

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