The National Academies

NCHRP 17-61 [Final]

Work Zone Crash Characteristics and Countermeasure Guidance

  Project Data
Funds: $600,000
Research Agency: Texas A&M Research Foundation
Principal Investigator: Gerald Ullman, Ph.D., P.E.
Effective Date: 9/19/2012
Completion Date: 6/30/2017

NCHRP Research Report 869: Estimating the Safety Effects of Work Zone Characteristics and Countermeasures: A Guidebook will assist practitioners who develop phasing and staging plans for temporary traffic control through work zones in evaluating the safety impacts of their plan decisions. The material in this report will be of immediate interest to agencies and consultants in their efforts to prepare and implement transportation management plans (TMPs) by providing a method for evaluating the potential safety benefits of certain impact mitigation countermeasures.

Work zone safety is of great concern to highway agencies, the construction industry, and the travelling public. Despite this concern, there is limited data on work zone crashes and fatalities that address trends, causality, and the best use of resources to improve work zone safety. Work zone crashes can occur both inside the work space and in the traffic space. There is no single solution to creating safer work zones. Effective countermeasures depend on understanding the characteristics of crashes (types of crashes, and where and when they are occurring), the characteristics of the work zone and roadway at the time of the crash, primary and contributing factors in the crash, measures of exposure, and the frequency with which certain characteristics occur. Having a greater understanding of this information will help in more effectively targeting efforts to improve work zone safety. Clear guidance was needed to encourage the use of a data-driven, comprehensive, collaborative planning approach for the selection and implementation of effective countermeasures to improve work zone safety. Over the last decade, numerous federal, state, and local initiatives to improve highway safety have resulted in the development of national and state Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP), as well as the current Towards Zero Deaths initiative. Work zone safety is a component in many states’ SHSP’s. In spite of these efforts for comprehensive and collaborative safety planning, many institutional barriers still remain.  
Under NCHRP Project 17-61, Texas A&M Transportation Institute was asked to develop comprehensive guidance on the characteristics of work zone crashes and the effectiveness of countermeasures in various categories (such as engineering, enforcement, education, Emergency Medical Services, and public policy) to reduce work zone crash frequency and severity, and improve overall work zone safety.  
In addition to the guidebook published as NCHRP Report 869, the research agency’s final report that documents the entire research effort is available as NCHRP Web-Only Document 240: Analysis of Work Zone Crash Characteristics and Countermeasures.

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=3183