Date of this Version
Khattak, A. J., & Farooq, M. U. (2023). Road Work Zone Safety: Investigating Injury Severity in Motor Vehicle Crashes Using Random Effects Multinomial Logit Model. Presented at the International Road Federation (IRF) Global R2T Conference & Exhibition, Tempe, AZ.
Work zones serve the purpose of facilitating maintenance and rehabilitation activities on roadways. However, these areas can also present unforeseen conditions to drivers, including narrowed right-of-way, lane shifts, and traffic disruptions. These conditions frequently contribute to vehicular crashes within work zones, resulting in property damage, injuries, and even loss of life. This paper aims to highlight work zone related crash data insights and presents statistical estimates of significant determinants of injury severity by analyzing ten-year crash data (2008-2018) from Nebraska, USA. The examination of crash data helped in highlighting work zone attributes that are empirically associated with serious injury crashes and fatalities. Crash data analysis evaluated the relationship of injury severity in work zones with key crash variables such as time of crash, road classification, crash location, road surface conditions, weather conditions and road characteristics. The crash data revealed that 2016 had the highest (1326/11.28%) whereas 2011 had the lowest (739/6.3%) recorded work zone crashes. Also, most of work zone crashes were recorded in activity and transition areas. A standard multinomial logit model and random effects multinomial logit model was estimated and compared. The estimated model showed that higher crash injury severity was associated with highways and interstates, curved and steep road conditions, lane closure and intermittent type work zones, activity and termination areas in work zones, presence of workers, time of day and certain crash attributes. Identifying these key factors related to work zone crashes helped suggest several mitigation strategies to reduce the severity of such incidents. This research is exploratory in nature, and the findings are anticipated to contribute to future studies on work zone safety.