Background The continuously increasing number of road construction and maintenance projects in India, especially on highways, creates huge risk for road users. This prompted us to examine the difference between characteristics of fatal crashes in Work Zones (WZs) and Non-Work Zones (NWZs).
Methods The study included analysis of fatal crash data for the period November 2009 to December 2013. Crash parameters such as the date, time, collision type, type of victim, i.e., pedestrian/cyclist/car user, etc., victim’s age, vehicle type, number of persons injured/killed etc., were extracted from fatal crash records. WZ crashes were extracted from the main crash database. The design chainage, length, start date and end date of each WZ was obtained from the concessionaire.
Results The crash rate is higher in WZs (1.68 crashes/km/year) as compared to Non-WZs (1.32 crashes/km/year). 77% and 71% of WZ and NWZ fatalities respectively involved vulnerable road users (pedestrians, bicyclists and motorised two wheeler riders) as victims. A higher proportion of working age group people (26–60 years) are involved in both WZs (46%) and NWZs (48%). Fatal crashes in both WZs and NWZs are more likely to be involved with another vehicle (nearly 95%). “Hit pedestrian” crashes were the dominant type in both WZs (41%) and NWZs (39%). Trucks are involved (as a striking vehicle) in a higher proportion of fatalities in both WZ (52%) and NWZ (54%) locations.
Conclusions The proportion of fatalities and fatal crashes are very similar in both WZs and NWZs but the rate of fatal crashes is comparatively higher in WZs. The predominance of hit pedestrian crashes, especially, in WZs, strongly indicates that one of the causal factors is over speeding. The implementation of a countermeasure like rumble strips that forces drivers to drive at approximately the same speeds throughout the WZs will improve safety at WZs significantly.
- Work Zone
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