MDOT: 17 killed in Michigan work zones last year - WNEM TV 5

MDOT: 17 killed in Michigan work zones last year

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MICHIGAN, (WNEM) -

A split second of distraction can dramatically change lives forever. 

It's the time of the year when orange barrels pop back up and construction crews spring into action. There were 4,908 work zone crashes last year in Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). In those crashes, 17 people were killed.

"So just be cognizant while you're driving out there. We ask that people put down their cellphones and other distractions as they go through work zones. Don't goof around with the radio, keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, said Gregg Brunner with MDOT.

Officials said most of those crashes could have been prevented. 

"The faces of people who are represented by these crash statistics could be any one of us," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "Each one of those numbers represents a person who left behind parents, siblings, children, and friends who were devastated by their loss. We all need to work together to bring these numbers down with the ultimate goal of zero deaths on our roadways".

Monday, April 3 kicks off National Work Zone Awareness Week, where safety agencies across the nation join forces to increase awareness about the importance of work zone safety. 

This year's theme is "Work zone safety is in your hands". Officials are asking you to show your support by wearing orange on Wednesday, April 5.

"Bottom line, everyone out there has a family or friend out there who they want to return home to at the end of the day," said Brunner.

Share a photo on social media and to the TV5 Facebook page of you or your team wearing orange, including the hashtags #Orange4Safety and #NWZAW. 

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