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OCR for page 9
SECTION III--TYPE OF PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED EXHIBIT III-3 Work Zone Fatal Crashes by Work Zone Type in 2003 Maintenance, 8% Utility, 2% Work Zone Type Unknown, 7% Construction, 83% Source: FARS Web-Based Encyclopedia, January 2005 http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/ the websites listed all projects, the types of work zones would be much more numerous, especially considering the presence of short-term work zones, including utility, maintenance, and emergency activities. Specific Attributes of the Problem Data from the Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) were reviewed in an attempt to characterize differences between work zone crashes and nonwork zone crashes. Exhibit III-4 compares several factors that relate to work zone and nonwork zone fatal crashes. Based on a review of the above table, a few general statements can be made about the nature of work zones and their affect on traffic fatalities in 2003: More than half of all fatal work zone crashes occurred during the day. According to Wunderlich and Hardesty (2003), approximately 22 percent of the work zones that they found listed on agency websites were designated for night work, and two-thirds of all resurfacing and paving activity took place at night. More than twice as many work zone fatal crashes occurred on weekdays as on weekends. Fatal work zone crashes occurred most often during the summer months, followed by the fall and spring months, presumably when the majority of construction activities are taking place in large portions of the country. Almost 30 percent of work zone fatal crashes occurred on either urban or rural Interstates. Overall, slightly more fatal crashes occurred in rural work zones than in urban work zones. Almost 60 percent of work zone fatal crashes occurred on roads with a posted speed limit of 55 mph or greater. III-3

OCR for page 9
SECTION III--TYPE OF PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED EXHIBIT III-4 Comparison of Factors: Percentages of Work Zone and NonWork Zone Fatal Crashes Data from FARS (2003) Factor All Fatal Crashes Work Zone Fatal Crashes Time of day Night 49 47 Day 50 52 Unknown 1 1 Day of week Weekend 34 31 Weekday 66 69 Season Winter 22 16 Spring 24 26 Summer 27 31 Autumn 27 27 Roadway function Rural, Interstate 7 13 Rural, other 51 39 Urban, Interstate 6 15 Urban, other 35 32 Unknown 1 1 Speed limit 150 mph 44 38 5575 mph 52 58 Unknown 4 4 Number of vehicles involved One 57 53 Two 36 35 More than two 7 12 Manner of two-vehicle collision Rear-end 13 35 Head-on 26 21 Angle 32 22 Side-swipe, opposite direction 21 15 Side-swipe, same direction 6 7 Other or unknown 2 0 III-4