Risk Factors in Work Zone Safety Events: A Naturalistic Driving Study Analysis

Identification of crash risk factors and enhancing safety at work zones is a major priority for transportation agencies. There is a critical need for collecting comprehensive data related to work zone safety. The naturalistic driving study (NDS) data offers a rare opportunity for a first-hand view of crashes and near-crashes (CNC) that occur in and around work zones. NDS includes information related to driver behavior and various non-driving related tasks performed while driving. Thus, the impact of driver behavior on crash risk along with infrastructure and traffic variables can be assessed. This study: (1) investigated risk factors associated with safety critical events occurring in a work zone; (2) developed a binary logistic regression model to estimate crash risk in work zones; and (3) quantified risk for different factors using matched case-control design and odds ratios (OR). The predictive ability of the model was evaluated by developing receiver operating characteristic curves for training and validation datasets. The results indicate that performing a non-driving related secondary task for more than 6?seconds increases the CNC risk by 5.46 times. Driver inattention was found to be the most critical behavioral factor contributing to CNC risk with an odds ratio of 29.06. In addition, traffic conditions corresponding to Level of Service (LOS) D exhibited the highest level of CNC risk in work zones. This study represents one of the first efforts to closely examine work zone events in the Transportation Research Board’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) NDS data to better understand factors contributing to increased crash risk in work zones.


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  • Accession Number: 01690697
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-00439
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2019 11:45AM