(WTOL) - Construction season can turn deadly.
Ohio Department of Transportation officials said in 2016 there were 6,000 crashes in construction zones.
At a kick-off press conference Thursday, ODOT officials not only stressed the safety of drivers but the safety of those working in dangerous conditions.
With more than a thousand construction projects scheduled statewide this season, there will be hundreds of crews working alongside
That's the reason behind this push for safety.
"Last year there were 810 minor injuries, 186 serious injuries in our work zones and then 28 people actually died in our work zones," Slusher said. "That's 28 people that never made it home to their families."
In districts one and two alone, there were eight crew members killed last year.
"It's becoming a really difficult thing to do to keep our workers safe in works zones," said Kirk Slusher, Interim Deputy Director, ODOT District Two. "So, we're asking for the public to just to be aware of where those work zones are and be attentive when you're driving through them."
With major projects along I-75, like the diverging diamond interchange at I-75 and US 25, drivers will see a lot of orange
"Slow down, pay attention to the signage," Slusher said. "Anything that's orange is a construction-related sign, and they're really important. We need people to pay attention to those when they are in the work zone."
ODOT officials understand that construction zones can cause delays. But they want to stress the most important thing is that drivers make it safely to their destinations and the crews make is home to their families.