Enhanced Crash Reporting to Explore Workzone Crash PatternsAuthor/Presenter: Raub, Richard; Sawaya, Omar; Schofer, Joseph; Ziliaskopoulos, Athanasios
This work analyzes patterns and factors in workzone crashes. In response to actual and suspected deficiencies in the quality of workzone crash reporting from standard police crash reports, an enhanced crash report form and procedure was developed and applied by police agencies in a small sample of workzones in Illinois. Analysis of 110 workzone crashes revealed differences between what the police were recording using enhanced and standard crash report forms. Most important was that workzone crashes appeared to be no more likely to produce injuries than those occurring on the same type of roadways when no workzone was present. The enhanced data provided better insight into the manner of collision and contributing factors of crashes occurring in various locations within the workzone. Approximately 40% of crashes recorded occurred outside the working area, in the taper and approach. Crashes in the working area usually involved more than two vehicles but most commonly resulted in property-damage- only. In the approach and taper portion, more than 30% were injury-producing and involved two vehicles. Approximately 40% of all crashes occurred when work was not in progress. Distraction from work in progress was an important contributor, but lack of escape was the leading contributing factor. Outside the working area, failure to yield and excessive speed were principal contributors (but speed was not a contributor inside the working area). Videotaping drivers approaching workzones provided visual evidence of actions which could lead to crashes. Most important was improper merging behavior in the approach portion, and drivers approaching queues at high speeds. Recommendations include moving enforcement outside the working area and concentrating on speeding and failure to yield, along with requiring alternate merging in areas of lane reductions.