Wichita Falls, TX-
hat's the message transportation departments' across the country want to get across to drivers as they celebrate National Work Zone Safety Week, March 23-27.
Newschannel 6 talked with Adele Lewis, Public Information Officer with the Texas Department of Transportation about deadly work zone crashes.
"What most people don't realize, while we're worried about the safety of our workers and you traveling through our work zones, its actually drivers and passengers that are the ones being killed," said Lewis.
In 2014, 147 people were killed in work zone crashes. Of those people killed last year, 87 percent were drivers and passengers.
Lewis said majority of work zone crashed can be prevented, "We do know that the two most frequently cited reasons for a crash in a work zone is inattentiveness of the driver on their cell phones or something like that and also speed."
To protect you and workers on the highway TxDOT offers the following advice.
Slow down, pay attention and be patient.
TxDOT said speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes. Therefore, make sure to follow posted work zone speed limits, because workers and heavy equipment is not too far away.
While most dislike traffic highway officials said it only takes a few minutes to slow down. To prevent frustration and rushing, they advise drivers to plan ahead if you know you may be traveling through a work zone.
Texas state law requires drivers slow down and mover over when entering a work zone, emergency vehicles, tow trucks, or stalled vehicles.
If you violate work zone speed limits you could face up to $2,000 in fines or ends someone's life.
Last year, two construction workers were killed. Both were working with contractors. Ten construction workers have also been killed right here in Wichita Falls since TxDOT started keeping track of crashes.