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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Now that the weather is nicer, you'll see road crews repairing all the damage caused by the harsh winter. That means you'll see a lot of work zones this spring and summer.

This week is the Missouri Department of Transportation's "Work Zone Awareness Week."

When you see a work zone sign on the highway telling you to slow down, you might think it's to protect the workers, but it's also to protect you.

The majority of people who die in work zone crashes are people in the car.

According to government data, nationally, 609 people were killed in work zones in 2012, most of which were people in cars, and 130 of them were construction workers. Just last year, 8 people were killed in work zones here in Missouri and 28 people in Illinois.

MoDOT says the reasons for the crashes include following too closely, improper lane use or changing lanes, inattention, driving too fast, and failing to yield, in that order. Advocates for work zone safety say slow down when you see the signs and orange cones, even if workers aren't around.

President of AGC St. Louis, Len Toenjes, said, "So, the message that we are trying to send to people is when they see the signs to slow down in the work zones, part of it is for the protection of the workers, but a much larger part is for the protection of themselves and their families."

Even if no workers are present, the lanes might have changed or there might be bumps in the road that could cause you to lose control, which is why they still want you to slow down in work zones.

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