Motorists’ Perception of Work Zone SafetyAuthor/Presenter: Kane, Martin R.; King,L. Ellis; Buch, Kimberly A.; Carpenter, Matthew L.
Highway work zones create potential hazards because motorists are confronted with unexpected and often confusing situations. They present an abnormal and disruptive element to the motorist who is accustomed to a clear and unobstructed roadway. Many motorists appear to take needless risks, such as late lane changes, following too closely, or speeding, in highway work zones. The reasons for this are not clear but may be attributable, in part, to the motorists’ perception of the work zone and the associated expected response. The objective of this research was to examine motorists’ perceptions, opinions, expectations, and other psychological factors that influence their driving activity in highway work zones. The study was carried out in two phases: an opinion survey and focus groups. The mail survey gathered data and produced both quantitative and qualitative information, while the focus groups encouraged different perceptions and points of view without pressuring the participants to vote, plan, or reach an agreement.