The National Academies

NCHRP 17-128 [RFP]

Reducing Adverse Driving Behaviors in Work Zones: Strategies and Guidelines

Posted Date: 11/8/2023

  Project Data
Funds: $600,000
Contract Time: 36 Months
Authorization to Begin Work: 7/1/2024 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Yi Zhao
   Phone: 202.334.2967
   Email: yzhao@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 12/29/2023
Fiscal Year: 2024


In 2020, 857 fatalities and 44,000 injuries occurred in work zones across the country. When adverse driving behaviors (excessive speeding, tailgating, aggressive driving, distracted driving, confusion, etc.) occur in work zones, their consequences are often magnified due to restricted geometrics and unexpected changes in operating conditions or travel patterns in and around those zones. Mitigating such behaviors requires a broad range of engineering, education, and enforcement strategies tailored to the unique operating characteristics in work zones. 

There is an urgent need for research to evaluate existing strategies and identify innovative strategies that are both effective and scalable to reduce adverse driving behaviors in work zones.



The objective of this project is to develop guidelines and decision-making tools to enhance road safety in work zones by addressing adverse driving behaviors.

Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.



Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.


PHASE I—Preliminary Research

Task 1a. Conduct a comprehensive literature review on state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice technologies and programs aimed at mitigating adverse driving behaviors in work zones. The review shall include published and unpublished research conducted through the NCHRP; the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); and other national, international, state, and pooled-fund sponsored research.

Task 1b. Develop and execute a survey to inform the evaluation of strategies for Phase II and identify additional strategies not covered in Task 1a. Target respondents shall include:

  • Transportation agencies (minimum of 20 responses, at least 10 of which from state departments of transportation)
  • Transportation stakeholders such as law enforcement agencies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the American Automobile Association (AAA), the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), state departments of motor vehicles (DMVs), AARP, etc. (minimum of 25 responses)

The responses shall be solicited from diverse geographic regions. All surveys must be reviewed and approved by the NCHRP before distribution. A roster of potential candidates shall be provided along with the survey.

Task 2. Synthesize the results of Tasks 1a and 1b to identify the knowledge gaps related to the project objective. These gaps shall be addressed in the final product or the recommended future research as budget permits.

Task 3. Propose methods and prioritization criteria to evaluate strategies for reducing adverse driving behaviors in work zones, to be executed in Phase II. The proposed methods shall consider at least:

1.   Both conventional and innovative strategies, including technologies, educational initiatives, and outreach programs tailored to reduce adverse driving behaviors in work zones. 

2.   The effectiveness of strategies in reducing adverse driving behaviors in work zones under various roadway types.

Note: If the research approach includes human subjects testing, proposers should be aware that contracts will be subject to approval by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). This review may be conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s IRB, but the National Academies will delegate the review to the contracting agency’s IRB if that agency’s process meets all federal requirements for the protection of human subjects.

If an organization cannot use or partner with an external IRB, or if TRB staff believe the project merits extra attention, then TRB staff may ask the National Academies IRB to conduct a review following its normal procedures. The National Academies IRB can be contacted by email at IRB@NAS.EDU.

Task 4. Prepare Interim Report No. 1 that documents Tasks 1 through 3 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research.

Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 1 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet virtually with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report. This report shall be prepared no later than 6 months after the project initiation. Work on Phase II of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP. 

Phase I shall be limited to 15 percent of the project budget.


PHASE II—Guideline Development

Task 5. Execute methods according to the approved Interim Report No. 1. 

Task 6. Provide a prioritized ranking and identify strategies that demonstrate the greatest potential for reducing adverse driving behaviors in work zones. The NCHRP will approve the strategies for quantitative analysis and implementation.

Task 7. Quantify the effectiveness of the NCHRP-approved strategies (at least five for each roadway type) to reduce adverse driving behaviors in work zones. It is expected that the contractor will use driving behavior evaluation tools such as simulation, augmented reality, etc.

Task 8. Identify potential work-zone sites for field implementation to verify the effectiveness of selected strategies for NCHRP approval.

Task 9. Prepare an annotated outline of the guidelines and the prototype of decision-making tools for NCHRP approval. 

Task 10. Develop actionable guidelines and decision-making tools to help transportation professionals effectively implement strategies to reduce adverse driving behaviors in work zones, including communication tools for outreach and stakeholder engagement.

Task 11. Prepare Interim Report No. 2 that documents Tasks 5 through 11 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research, to be submitted no later than 13 months after approval of Phase I. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phase III. 

Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 2 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet in person with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report. 

For budgeting purposes, the proposer shall plan on having the in-person panel meeting in Washington, DC. Costs for the meeting venue and travel costs for NCHRP panel members to attend the meeting will be paid separately by the NCHRP. 

Work on Phase III will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP.


PHASE III—Field Implementation and Final Products

Task 12. Conduct field implementation at the approved work zone sites (minimum of two sites) from Task 8 to test, verify, and document the effectiveness of recommended strategies to reduce adverse driving behaviors. 

Task 13. Prepare the final deliverables, which shall include:

  • Research report that documents the entire research effort and validated actionable guidelines, with an executive summary
  • Findings from the field implementations
  • Decision-making tools to help agencies reduce adverse driving behaviors in work zones
  • Fact sheet summarizing the recommended strategies to reduce adverse driving behaviors in work zones
  • Media and communications materials (presentation, graphics, press releases)
  • Stand-alone technical memorandum titled "Implementation of Research Findings and Products" (refer to Special Note I for more information) 

Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.



A. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were revised in May 2023. Please take note of the new and revised text which is highlighted in yellow.

B. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected. For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions.

C. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs have been modified to include a revised policy and instructions for disclosing Investigator Conflict of Interest. For more information, refer to chapter IV of the instructions. A detailed definition and examples can be found in the CRP Conflict of Interest Policy for Contractors. The proposer recommended by the project panel will be required to submit an Investigator Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Form as a prerequisite for contract negotiations.

D. Proposals will be rejected if any of the proposed research team members work for organizations represented on the project panel. The panel roster for this project can be found at https://www.mytrb.org/OnlineDirectory/Committee/Details/6936. Proposers may not contact panel members directly; this roster is provided solely for the purpose of avoiding potential conflicts of interest.

E. Proprietary Products - If any proprietary products are to be used or tested in the project, please refer to Item 6 in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals.

F. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively knowledgeable in the problem area. The project panel will recommend their first choice proposal considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities. A recommendation by the project panel is not a guarantee of a contract. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS - the contracting authority for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) will conduct an internal due diligence review and risk assessment of the panel’s recommended proposal before contract negotiations continue.

Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 11 of the proposal.

G. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academy of Sciences. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academy of Sciences. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.

H. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals. Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.

I. The required technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” should (a) provide recommendations on how to best put the research findings/products into practice; (b) identify possible institutions that might take leadership in applying the research findings/products; (c) identify issues affecting potential implementation of the findings/products and recommend possible actions to address these issues; and (d) recommend methods of identifying and measuring the impacts associated with implementation of the findings/products. Implementation of these recommendations is not part of the research project and, if warranted, details of these actions will be developed and implemented in future efforts.

The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf

J. If the team proposes a Principal Investigator who is not an employee of the Prime Contractor, or if the Prime Contractor is proposed to conduct less than 50% of the total effort (by time or budget), then section five of the proposal should include: (1) a justification of why this approach is appropriate, and (2) a description of how the Prime Contractor will ensure adequate communication and coordination with their Subcontractors throughout the project.

K. All budget information should be suitable for printing on 8½″ x 11″ paper. If a budget page cannot fit on a single 8½″ x 11″ page, it should be split over multiple pages. Proposers must use the Excel templates provided in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs.


Proposals must be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/0CHX4slOmP3YJauJV1Lr 
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 12/29/2023.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals". Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section IV for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=5529