Phone down, eyes up: Illinois agencies emphasize safe driving ahead of Work Zone Awareness Week

Multiple Illinois agencies are urging drivers to exercise caution while behind the wheel ahead of National Work Zone Awareness Week. 

Emphasizing the need for caution on the roads, the focus was on highlighting the risks faced by road workers due to careless driving. 

This year's theme underscores the temporary nature of work zones and the lasting impact of driver behavior. 

Leaders from various agencies advocated for safe driving practices, urging drivers to slow down and exercise caution when approaching work zones to ensure everyone's safety. 

Each year, over 6,000 crashes occur in Illinois work zones, resulting in more than 1,600 injuries. 

The Illinois Department of Transportation is proactively spreading the safety message ahead of an anticipated busy road work season. 

"We want drivers to know, there will be numerous work zones on the tollway system this year as we plan to invest $1.4 billion in roadway repairs and improvements," said Cassaundra Rouse, executive director of the Illinois Tollway.

In 2023, 24 fatalities were recorded in Illinois work zones, including one highway worker. 

Illinois authorities stressed the importance of avoiding distractions, particularly mobile phone usage while driving.