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52 vehicles that will generate the information necessary to im- permit pooling of work zone crash data on a national basis prove highway safety within each state and nationally and and would provide more detailed work zone crash data char- provides recommendations of data elements to be included acteristics for analysis purposes than the data that are now on state crash report forms (75). The MMUCC provides for available in most states. However, even if national imple- recording more extensive work zone data than what is now mentation of the MMUCC recommendations is achieved, obtained in most existing state crash reporting forms. With which seems highly unlikely in the foreseeable future, there some relatively minor revisions to the present MMUCC, will still be some shortcomings relative to all of the ideal objec- states that adopt these elements into their state crash report tives of a work zone crash reporting system. form could be successful in capturing a great deal of the work Ultimately, the selection of which crash reporting system zone crash information considered important. The biggest to use will be made at the agency level, as is appropriate. In drawback to the guideline is that it has not been widely imple- most cases, it is reasonable to expect that this decision will be mented to its fullest extent nationally, and it does not appear made by the state highway agency, in conjunction with input that it will be in place in more than a handful of states in the from other state agencies involved in the crash reporting foreseeable future. For those states that do adopt the work- system including police agencies responsible for traffic law zone-related data elements recommended in the MMUCC, it enforcement and crash investigation on highway projects. It would be possible to combine data from multiple states to is also reasonable to expect that each state's FHWA Division assess work zone issues of national significance, and it would Office will provide input in the decision of how to obtain also permit the comparison of certain work zone safety per- crash data. Specific considerations for the adoption of each of formance measures between states. the three available systems are discussed below. State DOT Agency-Based Work Zone Use of Existing State Crash Reports Crash Data Reporting Use of existing statewide crash report forms to track and Some state DOTs have established an internal crash re- evaluate work zone safety programs is likely the least costly porting mechanism in place to capture work zone crash data option for most states. Unfortunately, unless the state has in- above and beyond data available from the statewide crash re- corporated additional data elements concerning work zones porting system. A state can have a system in place to capture into the form (such as is recommended in the MMUCC crash data on selected types of projects, or in some cases on all guideline), the manner and extent to which these data can be projects for fatal crashes or other limited categories of crashes. used is fairly limited. Going forward, a number of terms and These procedures rely on data collection and report prepara- conditions can be stated that should be present to allow these tion by highway agency personnel, typically at the project level. data to be considered an acceptable option for purposes of These project-initiated reports are typically supplemented by meeting the intent of the FHWA safety and mobility rule re- standard state-level crash reports and may be linked to other garding the collection and review of work zone safety data. agency data such as traffic volumes, project characteristics, These terms and conditions are as follows: etc. This system may include industrial accidents in addition to work zone crashes. However, it may be less successful in The statewide crash reporting form must allow identifica- capturing crashes and industrial accidents that occur on tion of crashes that occur within a work zone or that are nights and weekends and at other times when project staff are likely related to work zone activities (i.e., at the end of a not present. work zone queue). The statewide crash reporting form must also contain basic crash characteristics (severity, manner of collision, etc.). Comparison of Crash Data Sources The report form should include at least the most essential Table 22 below summarizes the comparative advantages work zone characteristics, as is discussed in the section that and disadvantages of these three sources of data. follows. The ability should exist for work zone crash reports to be forwarded to the highway agency in a timely manner as Selecting a Work Zone Crash Data Source requested. Such critical reports would typically include As shown in Table 22, each of the three approaches to fatal crashes within a work zone and serious crashes directly collecting work zone crash data offers distinct advantages involving the work operation or personnel. and disadvantages. The adoption of a single uniform system A good level of cooperation must exist between the high- nationwide, based on the MMUCC guideline or a revised ver- way agency, the agency that compiles the reports, and the sion of it, would offer a distinct advantage in that it would police agencies that investigate the crashes and prepare the

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53 Table 22. Advantages and disadvantages of available work zone crash data sources. State Crash Reports MMUCC Guideline Highway Agency-Generated Enhancements to State Work Zone Crash Reports Crash Reports Advantages Already in place in all states Would help make forms Can provide best work zone uniform across states detail Most states provide basic Includes other good work Can capture non-crash field to identify a crash as zone details accidents occurring in a work zone Captures most non-minor Supported by key national Can help improve timely crashes agencies FHWA, reporting to DOT NHTSA, etc. Includes good basic crash Identifies additional crash High level of DOT control characteristics data elements that may be useful in work zone analyses Can be revised at state level May be improved at state Can be customized to meet to add elements as needed level to add elements specific needs May be linked to roadway, May be linked to roadway, May be linked to roadway, project, and traffic data project, and traffic data project, and traffic data May provide better information that is useful in defense of legal claims Disadvantages Not uniform between states No AASHTO involvement Not uniform between states Requires ongoing Requires more training for Requires development of enforcement training enforcement personnel state procedures Omits industrial accidents Overlooks most minor May miss some events-- crashes nights, weekends Most contain few, if any, Omits industrial accidents Requires DOT staff training work zone characteristics Overlooks most minor Work zone terminology Requires DOT management crashes needs "tweaking" commitment Access to data by DOT is Access to data by DOT is Added cost to DOT often delayed often delayed May lack uniformity within Should be supplemented by state state crash report individual reports. This would assume that revisions to the The highway agency should develop clear-cut procedures reporting form and procedures can be considered from as to how the crash report form data are to be extracted, time to time to meet specific needs of the highway agency. analyzed, and used to guide decisions and changes to work The crash reporting procedure should include a reasonably zone policies, procedures, and practices. If data concerning low reporting threshold so that most work zone crashes are non-crash worker industrial accidents are to be collected, captured. efforts should be made to ensure that the requirements are The highway agency should consider developing a supple- understood by all agency staff that have responsibility for its mental reporting system to capture serious non-crash worker implementation. industrial accidents occurring on project sites. These would Buy-in to this system is obtained from the state division of- include serious injuries to workers (hospital treatment may fice of FHWA. be a useable threshold), accidents resulting in substantial property damage or environmental damage, and "near- Adoption of MMUCC Work Zone and Related Data miss" accidents that did not result in serious consequences Elements on the State Crash Report Form but clearly had the potential to be much more severe. A typ- ical example would be the overturning of a large crane that The MMUCC guideline identifies several work zone data missed workers and vehicles traveling through the project, or elements recommended for inclusion on state crash report the rupture of a large natural gas transmission line. forms. Overall, the recommendations represent a substantial Adequate training must be provided to law enforcement improvement over the crash reporting forms used in many personnel that respond to crashes to ensure that the work states and offer the potential to provide good uniformity of zone and other data entered into the forms are correct and reporting among the states where it is used. However, it consistent. appears that only a handful of states have implemented the