Researchers from University of Missouri-Columbia developed a binary logistic regression model to estimate crash risk in work zones
Transport agencies focus on identifying crash risk factors and enhancing safety at work zones. Comprehensive data collection related to work zone safety plays a major role in reducing risk factors. The naturalistic driving study (NDS) data can be used as a first-hand view of crashes and near-crashes (CNC) that happen in and around work zones. The study includes data associated with driver behavior and various non-driving related tasks that are carried out while driving. This in turn helps to evaluate the impact of driver behavior on crash risk, infrastructure, and traffic variables. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Missouri found that attention diverting traits in drivers such as answering a phone call, a text message, or being distracted by a passenger may 29 times more probably result in a CNC in a highway work zone.
The team used data from the Transportation Research Board's second Strategic Highway Research Program's NDS. The team collected data from over 3,000 drivers traveling over 50 million miles during 2006 - 2015. The data was used to acquire a detailed firsthand account of a driver's interaction with the vehicle, roadway, and surrounding infrastructure. Federal Highway Administration has funded seven projects that use this data. The current research used the data to precisely observe highway work zones.
The team found that performing a non-driving related secondary task for over 6 seconds boosts the CNC risk by 5.46 times. The team found that driver inattentiveness was a major factor contributing to CNC risk with an odds ratio of 29.06. Moreover, traffic conditions conforming to Level of Service (LOS) D of high-density flow where speed and freedom to move are stringently restricted, exhibited the highest level of CNC risk in work zones. According to the researchers, the study is leading example to closely examine work zone events in the Transportation Research Board’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) NDS data. The research was published in the journal Transportation Research Record on January 09, 2019.
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