Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 12:00PM (ET)

Work Zone Crash Analysis in Florida

During the maintenance and reconstruction of existing infrastructure and the construction of new infrastructure, designated work zones are important for the safety of road users and workers. These work zones are usually marked and managed by special traffic signs, standard channelizing devices, appropriate barriers, pavement markings, and construction vehicles. These special conditions of roadways require some level of monitoring by state and local enforcement for safe and efficient traffic operation. As such, driving conditions insider work zone require increased attention than the normal diving condition because of special conditions of construction, maintenance, and utility-work activities. Moreover, work zones also vary by its duration and types of work, which are not encountered on normal roadway system. With these unexpected driving conditions, work zone or construction areas very likely interrupt the expectancy of the drivers resulting in unexpected traffic delays, erratic maneuvers which results in safety concerns for overall traffic as well as for the workers. Considering the magnitude of the problem in terms of severity of work zone crashes, work zone is given significant emphasis in AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). Appropriate traffic management is critical because it influences traffic delays, safety for motorists and workers, completion of roadwork in timely fashion as well as the maintenance of access to business and residents in the area. From the traffic operation and management perspective, as noted by Federal Highway Admiration (FHWA) study that work zone is likely to build traffic congestions that influences an increase in crash rates.

Nationally, fatal crashes and fatalities in work zone areas have increased over the year. With that trend, Florida had the 3rd highest number of fatal crashes in the nation, moving the 2nd highest in 2015 and 2016 according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. Work zone statistics in the US for 2017 indicate that approximately 1 work zone crash per hour as opposed to 1 crash every 1.6 hours in 2014. As such, work-zone safety is considered one of the important emphasis areas in Florida’s SHSP. Work zone safety and related injury severity have been the emphasis of a number of important research efforts over the years. This study intends to add to the body of knowledge by analyzing the characteristics of work zone crashes and the risk factors that lead to different severities in Florida using data from Florida’s Crash Analysis Reporting System (CARS), including vehicle, roadway geometry, traffic volume, driver demographics, and spatial and temporal characteristics. This study will highlight the trend, crash characteristics and injury severity in Florida work zones from 2011 to 2017. With this analysis, this study also extends on the contributing factors that lead to different severity levels in work zone crashes over the time. Florida is expected to grow economically in terms of road infrastructure, work zones are likely to increase across the state with continued exposure to crash risks and injury severity. Given the importance of work zone safety in Florida and in the US, appropriate strategies and countermeasures need to be developed to reduce the frequency of crash and minimize the associated injury severity for all motorists and workers. Download Handout

Presenter: Mouyid Islam, Ph.D. CUTR

Dr. Mouyid Islam is a Research Faculty at Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at University of South Florida (USF). His research interest includes safety data, data analytics, and statistical modeling dealing with data linkage process for different safety and related data sources. He brings the experiences from private sector working in safety projects in different states with implementation of Highway Safety Manual (HSM). He has been actively involved in predictive safety analysis of Highway Safety Manual as well as safety data analysis for Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) utilizing state level crash, roadway inventory, census data, vehicle registration and endorsement data for different emphasis areas (e.g., roadway departure crash, motorcycles, large trucks). Moreover, He is an actively involved with TRB safety committee for Highway Safety Performance (ANB25) and Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation (ANB20) and Moped and Motorcycle Safety Committee (ANF30). He has published more than 15 research reports and peer reviewed journal papers and presented 25 presentations at several national and international conferences.


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