In Florida, despite recent efforts to improve work zone safety, the number of crashes and fatalities at work zones has increased continuously over several past years. For addressing the existing safety problems, it is necessary to develop an integrated work zone safety analysis tool for assisting traffic engineers to obtain a clear understanding of the characteristics of work zone crashes. This understanding is beneficial to the selection of proper measures for improving work zone safety. In addition, Dynamic Lane Merge system, a novel work zone traffic control system mitigates the traffic disturbance due to discontinued lanes at upstream of work zones, can improve work zone safety and operational performance. However, the effectiveness of the new merge control in Florida has not been evaluated yet.
An analysis of work zone fatal crashes in Florida was presented in the study to address a clear understanding of the characteristics of work zone fatal crashes in Florida. Descriptive statistics method was used to find major factors and predominant causes of work zone fatal crashes from different aspects. And a set of binary logit models were developed to explain the impacts of various factors on the occurrence of work zone fatal crashes. Based on the analysis, a web-based application, Florida Work Zone Crash Database, was also developed to provide functions for storing, updating, and analyzing work zone fatal crashes. This analysis function of the system can help traffic engineers address the major safety problems of work zones in Florida. In addition, a CORSIM-based preliminary evaluation of the Dynamic Lane Merge (DLM) system at freeway work zones was produced to demonstrate if DLM has positive impacts on traffic operations or safety under certain traffic conditions. The information of various work zone safety devices, including warning devices, guiding devices, and protective devices, was summarized by searching the internet web sites and literature reviewing. Simultaneously, a work zone safety survey was carried out to obtain the primary impression of work zone safety concerns, contributing factors to work zone accidents, and general measures or devices to work zone safety.
The research result can be used for proposing new measures to improve work zone safety, or be taken as the reference for feature researches.