Investigation of Highway Work Zone CrashesAuthor/Presenter: Wang, Jun; Hughes, Warren E.; Council, Forrest M.; Paniati, Jeffrey F.
Emphasis on work zone safety and improving the identification of work zone problems has been increased by recent legislation and federal programs. There is a critical need for better data related to highway work zone safety. Results are presented of an investigation to (a) determine what is known about the magnitude of highway work zone crashes, (b) examine characteristics of highway work zone crashes using the Highway Safety Information System, (c) investigate how work zone accidents are reported on police accident report forms and within state accident report systems, (d) identify critical voids in the knowledge of the relative safety of work zones, and (e) examine possible ways to address unfulfilled information needs related to work zone safety. Deficiencies of data reporting practices and issues of data needs pertaining to work zone safety are discussed. Recommendations to improve data collection and fulfill information needs are presented, including suggested data elements to be added to police accident report forms.