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April is national Distracted Drivers Awareness month

According to the National Safety Council, the nation’s roads are “the most dangerous they’ve been in years.”

The Michigan State Police Department said in the year 2020, more than 14-thousand traffic accidents involved at least one distracted driver. The department says that figure continues to increase every year.

With the seasonal surge of road construction sites and lane closures, distracted driving is a constant primary concern of road work safety.

Jocelyn Garza, Bay Region Communications Representative for the Michigan Department of Transportation says for MDOT, every month is Distracted Drivers Awareness month.

“Unfortunately, when we have an issue with work zone safety, it comes in like a group. So, we'll have a great stretch where there are no work zone crashes, No workers have been injured and then all of a sudden, there are a couple that happen within a short span of time. And it's a very sobering reality.”

Garza says all drivers have the capacity to prevent distractions, but will they?

She says she’s seen a rise in stigma against road workers due to the inconvenience of delays and detours caused by road work projects. Garza says this leads some drivers to disregard work zone rules, compromising many of the safety measures M-DOT can put in place.