Survey of Driver’s Opinion About Work Zone Traffic Control on a Rural HighwayAuthor/Presenter: Benekohal, Rahim F.; Orloski, Robin L.; Hashmi, Asma M.
The responses of 441 drivers who traveled through a construction zone on I-57 were collected and analyzed. The drivers were surveyed for their understanding, interpretation, and reaction to work zone traffic control signs and messages. They were also asked for suggestions to improve work zone safety. The analysis indicated that 77% of the drivers paid more attention to work zone signs. About 83% said they saw the flagger and 88% of them correctly understood the flagger’s message, while only 92% reduced their speed. Speed limit signs were noticed by 87%, but correctly remembered by only 90% of them. About 90% of the drivers reduced their speed after seeing speed limit signs but 6% did not. One-third of the drivers reported their speed being greater than the speed limit. About 94% of the speeding drivers felt that their speed was safe enough for the work zone conditions. Over three-fourths of the drivers said the posted speed limit in the work zone was was about right, but 17% said it was too low. Even though 79% of the drivers said the posted speed limit was about right, only 59% said they drove at or below this speed limit. The work zone signs conveyed a clear enough message such that a majority of the drivers were guided comfortably through the work zone. However, about 5% replied that one or more signs were confusing to them. While there was not an agreement on the “confusing” signs, the posted speed limit signs were cited by several drivers. The motorists did not perceive the driving conditions in the work zone to be hazardous; only 54% of the drivers said that going through the work zone was more hazardous than a non-work zone. The driving conditions in the work zone were described as comfortable by 3/4 of the drivers and uncomfortable by 22%. The report contains an analysis of the responses and drivers’ suggestions.