What’s a Work Zone?Author/Presenter: Turner, J. Dan
It may surprise some to hear that there are currently no nationally recognized definitions of work zones or work-zone accidents. Almost every state has their own unique definitions of these items. In case you are wondering what the problem is, consider this: Since practically every state defines work zones differently, it is impossible to determine the nationwide impact of road construction on the safety of the traveling public. Therefore, it is possible that work zones aren’t emphasized adequately in state and national safety programs. In addition, transportation planners should be aware of the safety impact of work zones so that the full impact of building a new road or widening an existing road can be realized. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is currently involved in an effort to develop a standardized definition of work zone. Ultimately, this effort will allow researchers the opportunity to assess the current state of work-zone safety and to recommend possible countermeasures to eliminate or mitigate safety problems.