PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is reminding drivers to be vigilant in work zones as construction season kicks off.

This summer will include 66 different construction projects, according to RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.

“There will be literally hundreds of work zones throughout the state this year,” he said. “We ask that drivers plan their trips and provide extra time for travel with the expectation that they may likely run into one of our work zones, and when they do, to slow down, and drive as if their friend or relative is working behind those barrels and cones.”

RIDOT said deadly work zone crashes have increased nationally in recent years. In 2021, 956 people died in these crashes and more than 45,000 were injured. Roughly 85% of those injured were drivers and passengers in the car.

Rhode Island reported 760 work zone crashes last year, but thankfully, none of them were deadly.

In Rhode Island, drivers are required by law to move over one lane when approaching construction and highway maintenance workers, if possible. The same law also encompasses approaching first responders stopped on the road.

RIDOT said they’re doing what they can to take traffic congestion into consideration in their work zones.

A full list of road projects and lane closures can be found on RIDOT’s website.