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Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

Evaluation of Work-Zone Safety Using SHRP2 Naturalistic Driving Study Data


Principal investigators:

Co-principal investigators:

Project status

In progress

Start date: 03/01/16
End date: 06/30/18



About the research


A number of factors have been noted in the research as contributing to work-zone crashes. Driver factors have not been as well studied since they are difficult to determine from crash data, but it is largely believed that the main contributors are inattentive driving, speeding, and other unsafe driver behaviors, such as following too closely.

A number of countermeasures have been utilized by agencies to get drivers’ attention and encourage safe work-zone driving. However, the information is limited about which countermeasures are the most effective, given that driver behavior in work zones is not well understood.

The naturalistic driving study (NDS) data collected by the Second Strategic Highway Program (SHRP2) offers a rare opportunity for a first-hand view of work-zone safety-critical events. Using these data, actual driver behavior can be observed. Additionally, using forward roadway views, researchers can make a determination as to whether the events were actually work zone related.

The goal of this research is to more fully investigate work-zone safety using the unique data available with the SHRP2 data. In particular, the analyses address the role of speed and distraction in work-zone crashes and near crashes.

The goal is to determine how drivers negotiate work zones and determine the factors present when safety-critical situations arise as compared to normal work-zone driving. Results from earlier work suggest that the impact of speed, driver distraction, work-zone configuration, and roadway characteristics can successfully be included in the analyses.