Work Zone Traffic Accidents Involving Traffic Control Devices, Safety Features, and Construction OperationsAuthor/Presenter: Bryden, James E.; Andrew, Laurel B.; Fortuniewicz, Jan S.
There were 496 work zone traffic accidents on New York State Department of Transportation construction projects from 1994 through 1996. These accidents involved impacts with work zone traffic control devices and safety features; construction features, such as pavement bumps and joints; drainage features; excavations and materials; and construction vehicles, equipment, and workers. These items, which include all of the features introduced into the roadway environment by construction activity, represent one-third of all work zone accidents and 37% of those involving serious injury. Channelizing devices, arrow panels, signs, and other traffic control devices generally resulted in little harm when impacted. Impact attenuators, both fixed and truck mounted, also performed well. Although portable concrete barriers prevent vehicle intrusions, impacts with barriers are severe events. Barriers must be properly designed and limited to only those locations where they are needed to protect more serious hazards. Construction vehicles, equipment, and workers were involved in over 20% of all work zone accidents, resulting in serious injuries. Although intrusions by private vehicles into work spaces are a serious concern, construction vehicles, equipment, and workers in open travel lanes are also a serious concern. Good design of work zone traffic control plans, combined with adequate training and supervision of workers, is essential to control both concerns.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: January 1, 1998
Source URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Crash Analysis; Temporary Traffic Control; Traffic Control Devices