Examining the Influence of Work Zones on the Propensity of Secondary CrashesAuthor/Presenter: Kitali, Angela E.; Haule, Henrick J.; Alluri, Priyanka; Sando, Thobias
Work zones are essential to maintaining and upgrading highways. The constrained driving environment in work zones tends to disturb the normal traffic flow, leading to reductions in speed and road capacity. These conditions have proven to increase crash risk. However, the impact of work zones on secondary crashes is yet to be investigated. This study extends the previous research on secondary crash likelihood models by evaluating the impact of work zones on the occurrence of secondary crashes. This study used data collected between January 2014 and June 2019 on a 77.2-km Homestead Extension of Florida Turnpike (HEFT) corridor and a 45.1-km section on Florida’s Turnpike System Mainline—also known as the mainline south section (MSS) in Miami, Florida. Lane widening activities occurred within HEFT during the study period. The results indicated that HEFT experienced approximately twice as many secondary crashes than MSS, that is, seven secondary in HEFT and four secondary in MSS. The higher proportion of secondary crashes on HEFT could be attributed to the presence of construction activities. The model results indicate that the presence of work zones significantly influenced the likelihood of secondary crashes. The study results may assist transportation agencies in identifying strategies to improve the safety of both workers and motorists in work zones.