Identification of Contributing Factors for Work Zone Crashes

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



In USA, despite recent efforts to improve work zone safety, the number of crashes and fatalities at work zones has increased continuously over several past years. For addressing the existing safety problems, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the characteristics of work zone crashes especially fatal crashes. This report summarizes a research study focusing on work zone traffic crash analysis to identify the contributing factors to work zone traffic crashes. Drivers were divided into older, middle age, and young groups for the analysis. In addition, weather conditions, lighting conditions, and other environmental conditions were considered. This study was based on crash data from Florida State. In this report, totally 421 work zone fatal crashes was extracted from Florida Analysis Reporting (CAR) system, and then descriptive statistics method was used to find the basic characteristics and major factors and predominant causes of work zone fatal crashes from different aspects, such as driver age group, lighting condition, and weather conditions. Based on these investigations, it was concluded that careless driving is the most predominant contributing factors for work zone fatal crashes, and work zone fatal crashes for young drivers (younger than 25) have higher possibility to occur when they are running at a narrow road (road width < 20 feet) or at night. After these analyses, a set of binary logistic regression models were developed to explain the impacts of various factors on the occurrence of work zone fatal crashes. From these models, it can be concluded that some factors, including a high speed limit, the influence of specific road features, surface roads, bad weather, and driver failed to yield right of way, are more likely to increase the probability of angle crashes. Pedestrian crashes have higher possibility to occur when the speed limit is low, work zone is in urban area, vehicle moves straightly, or daylight is absent. For rear-end crashes, several factors like a high speed limit, urban area, straight movement of vehicles, the absence of daylight, other pavement types (not blacktop), and drivers’ careless driving tend to raise the opportunity of crash occurrence.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Identification of Contributing Factors for Work Zone Crashes, Transportation Group Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of South Florida, 47 p.