Motor Vehicle Crashes in Roadway Construction Workzones: An Analysis Using Narrative Text from Insurance ClaimsAuthor/Presenter: Sorock, Gary S.; Ranney, Thomas A,; Lehto, Mark R.
In this paper, the characteristics and costs of motor vehicle crashes in roadway construction workzones are discussed. As opposed to using standard accident codes to identify accident types, automobile insurance claims files from 1990-93 were searched to identify records with the keyword “construction” in the accident narrative field. A total of 3,686 claims were used for the analysis of crashes. Keywords from the accident narrative field were used to identify five pre-crash vehicle activities and five crash types. Misclassification error was found to be only 5%. For each of four years, 1990-93, there was a total of 648, 996, 977 and 1,065 crashes, respectively. There was a 70% increase in the crash rate per 10,000 personal insured vehicles from 1990-93 (2.1-3.6). Most crashes (26%) involved a stopped or slowing vehicle in the workzone. The most common crash (31%) was a rear-end collision. The most costly pre-crash activity was a major judgment error on the part of a driver.