A national study finds more distracted drivers and their passengers are getting killed and hurt in highway construction zone crashes than ever before. Jim Doeden, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Transportation, says motorists often don’t pay attention, even with all of the warnings. This is National Work Zone Awareness Week. Doeden, who works in the Mason City D-O-T office, says road construction season is just around the corner and Iowns need to start paying more attention for work zones. He says they start cranking up projects in April and May and they try to limit detours. Doeden says Iowa averages eight deaths a year in work zones, though he says there were only three deaths statewide last year. He says there are several things motorists can do as they approach and go through work zones to stay safe. Doeden says you should slow down, minimize distractions, and pay close attention to signs. He says the D-O-T is concerned about the fatality numbers rising nationally. Doeden says 80-percent of the people killed in highway work zones are drivers and passengers, not workers. Just under 11-hundred people died in work-zone related crashes nationwide in 2001, the most recent year of statistics from the U-S D-O-T.
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