Accident Patterns in Road Construction Work ZonesAuthor/Presenter: Shehab, Tariq; Phu, Leah
Traffic safety in road construction zones has always been a major concern for engineering practitioners, departments of transportation, law enforcement professionals, researchers and many others. Due to the deteriorated condition of road and underground infrastructure facilities in the United States, the number of rehabilitation projects and their associated traffic accidents have increased over the past few years. To perform the needed road and underground utility rehabilitation activities in safer environments, researchers need to understand the causes behind these accidents. Although many researchers have been exploring the safety of many construction activities, research pertaining to road construction projects is lacking and insufficient. Despite the fact that few research efforts have been made to fill in this reported gap, many important collision factors have not yet been explored. This paper augments earlier safety research work by analyzing 11 years’ worth of data and presenting a wide range of primary factors that contribute to traffic accidents in road construction zones. The paper also presents the impact of many factors, such as environmental and road conditions on the type and severity of collisions. The findings presented in this paper will not only contribute to the reduction of construction zone related traffic accidents by avoiding their causes, but it will also assist contractors and transportation authorities in better planning and scheduling their projects in a manner that positively contributes to the safety of served communities. This will be achieved by presenting factors that highly influence the decision on the start dates and duration of projects such as, day(s) of the week and month(s) of the year that are mostly associated with higher rates of traffic collisions.