Determining the Major Causes of Highway Work Zone Accidents in Kansas

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The work zones on the United States highway system have created an inevitable disruption on regular traffic flows and resulted in traffic safety problems. Understanding the characteristics and major causes of highway work zone crashes is a critical step towards developing effective safety countermeasures in highway work zones. In 2004, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) initiated a project (K-TRAN Project No. KU-05-01) to study the fatal crashes in Kansas highway work zones between 1992 and 2004. The study results including crash characteristics and major crash contributing factors were published in Bai and Li (2006). Built on the previous success, KDOT sponsored this research project (K-TRAN Project No. KU-06-01) to further study the injury crashes during the same period in Kansas highway work zones.

Transcript of Determining the Major Causes of Highway Work Zone Accidents in Kansas

  • 1.Report No. K-TRAN: KU-06-1FINAL REPORT Determining the major causes of highway work zone accidents in Kansas (Phase 2)Yong Bai, Ph.D., P.E.Yingfeng LiThe University of KansasLawrence, KansasOctober 2007A Cooperative TRANSPORTATION Research programbetween:Kansas Department of TransportationKansas State UniversityUniversity of Kansas

2. 1Report No. 2 Government Accession No.3 Recipient Catalog No. K-TRAN: KU-06-1 4Title and Subtitle 5Report DateDetermining Major Causes of Highway Work Zone AccidentsOctober 2007in Kansas (Phase 2) 6 Performing Organization Code 7 Author(s)8 Performing Organization Report No. Yong Bai, Ph.D., P.E., Yingfeng Li 9 Performing Organization Name and Address10Work Unit No. (TRAIS)Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural EngineeringThe University of Kansas2150 Learned Hall 11Contract or Grant No.Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7609C1558 12Sponsoring Agency Name and Address13Type of Report and Period CoveredKansas Department of TransportationFinal ReportBureau of Materials and Research July 2006 - March 2007700 SW Harrison Street14Sponsoring Agency CodeTopeka, Kansas 66603-3745RE-0410-01 15Supplementary NotesFor more information write to address in block 9. 16 AbstractThe work zones on the United States highway system have created an inevitable disruption on regular traffic flows and resulted in traffic safety problems. Understanding the characteristics and major causes of highway work zone crashes is a critical step towards developing effective safety countermeasures in highway work zones. In 2004, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) initiated a project (K-TRAN Project No. KU-05-01) to study the fatal crashes in Kansas highway work zones between 1992 and 2004. The study results including crash characteristics and major crash contributing factors were published in Bai and Li (2006). Built on the previous success, KDOT sponsored this research project (K-TRAN Project No. KU-06-01) to further study the injury crashes during the same period in Kansas highway work zones.The primary objectives of this study were to investigate the characteristics of the injury crashes, to identify risk factors that contributed to the injury crashes, and to compare characteristics between fatal and injury crashes in highway work zones. Frequency analysis was utilized to discover the basic characteristics reflected by single-variable frequencies as well as the complicated characteristics based on cross-categorized frequencies. The variable combinations used for analyzing cross-categorized frequencies were identified through independence test methods such as Pearson Chi-Square Test and Likelihood-Ratio Chi-Square Test. The characteristic comparison between fatal and injury crashes further helps to document the general characteristics of both fatal and injury crashes and to discover the unique factors that characterize different severities.The researchers found significant characteristics of Kansas highway work zone injury crashes and summarized them in six categories. The researchers also discovered noteworthy characteristic differences between work zone fatal and injury crashes and concluded the important factors that could have increased the severity of work zone crashes. Potential safety improvements were recommended accordingly and future research were suggested. The significant insights from this study are valuable for the design of safer highway work zones and for the development of safety countermeasures that have potential not only in reducing the number of crashes but also in mitigating the crash severity. 17 Key Words 18 Distribution StatementWork zone accidents, Traffic, Kansas No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161 19 Security20 Security 21 No. of pages 22 Price Classification (of thisClassification xxx report)(of this page)UnclassifiedUnclassifiedForm DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) 3. Determining Major Causes of Highway Work Zone Accidents in Kansas (Phase 2)Final ReportBy:Yong Bai, Ph.D., P.E.Yingfeng Li The University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas A Report on Research Sponsored ByTHE KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TOPEKA, KANSAS October 2007 Copyright 2007, Kansas Department of Transportation 4. PREFACEThe Kansas Department of Transportations (KDOT) Kansas TransportationResearch and New-Developments (K-TRAN) Research Program funded thisresearch project. It is an ongoing, cooperative and comprehensive researchprogram addressing transportation needs of the state of Kansas utilizingacademic and research resources from KDOT, Kansas State University andthe University of Kansas. Transportation professionals in KDOT and theuniversities jointly develop the projects included in the research program. NOTICEThe authors and the state of Kansas do not endorse products or manufacturers.Trade and manufacturers names appear herein solely because they areconsidered essential to the object of this report.This information is available in alternative accessible formats. To obtain analternative format, contact the Office of Transportation Information, KansasDepartment of Transportation, 700 SW Harrison, Topeka, Kansas 66603-3745 or phone (785) 296-3585 (Voice) (TDD).DISCLAIMERThe contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsiblefor the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do notnecessarily reflect the views or the policies of the state of Kansas. This reportdoes not constitute a standard, specification or regulation.ii 5. ABSTRACT The work zones on the United States highway system have created an inevitabledisruption on regular traffic flows and resulted in traffic safety problems. Understandingthe characteristics and major causes of highway work zone crashes is a critical steptowards developing effective safety countermeasures in highway work zones. In 2004,Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) initiated a project (K-TRAN Project No.KU-05-01) to study the fatal crashes in Kansas highway work zones between 1992 and2004. The study results including crash characteristics and major crash contributingfactors were published in Bai and Li (2006). Built on the previous success, KDOTsponsored this research project (K-TRAN Project No. KU-06-01) to further study theinjury crashes during the same period in Kansas highway work zones. The primary objectives of this study were to investigate the characteristics of theinjury crashes, to identify risk factors that contributed to the injury crashes, and tocompare characteristics between fatal and injury crashes in highway work zones.Frequency analysis was utilized to discover the basic characteristics reflected by single-variable frequencies as well as the complicated characteristics based on cross-categorized frequencies. The variable combinations used for analyzing cross-categorized frequencies were identified through independence test methods such asPearson Chi-Square Test and Likelihood-Ratio Chi-Square Test. The characteristiccomparison between fatal and injury crashes further helps to document the generalcharacteristics of both fatal and injury crashes and to discover the unique factors thatcharacterize different severities.iii 6. The researchers found significant characteristics of Kansas highway work zoneinjury crashes and summarized them in six categories. The researchers also discoverednoteworthy characteristic differences between work zone fatal and injury crashes andconcluded the important factors that could have increased the severity of work zonecrashes. Potential safety improvements were recommended accordingly and futureresearches were suggested. The significant insights from this study are valuable for thedesign of safer highway work zones and for the development of safety countermeasuresthat have potential not only in reducing the number of crashes but also in mitigating thecrash severity. iv 7. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThe researchers would like to thank Mr. Anthony Alrobaire and Mr. RexMcCommon from Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) for their valuable helpand advice during the course of this study. Cooperation and assistance from otherKDOT staff during the process of crash data collection are also greatly appreciated. Thefinancial support that contributed to the success of this research was fully provided byKDOT. v 8. TABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract ........................................................................................................................... iiiAcknowledgements ......................................................................................................... vTable of Contents ............................................................................................................viList of Tables...................................................................................................................ixList of Figures................................................................................................................. xiiChapter 1 - Introduction................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Problem Statement ........................................................................................... 1 1.2 Report Organization.......................................................................................... 2Chapter 2 - Literature Review ......................................................................................... 4 2.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................... 4 2.2 Previous Studies on Work Zone Crash Characteristics .................................... 52.2.1Work Zone Crash Characteristics ..................................................................... 52.2.2Summary of Work Zone Crash Characteristics ............................................... 10 2.3 ITS Applications in Hi