Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Work Zone Data Examples

States shall use field observations, available work zone crash data, and operational information to manage work zone impacts for specific projects during implementation. States shall continually pursue improvement of work zone safety and mobility by analyzing work zone crash and operational data from multiple projects to improve State processes and procedures. - Section 630.1008(c)

Section 630.1008 of the Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule requires agencies to use work zone data at both the project and process-levels to manage and improve work zone safety and mobility, and to maintain data resources to support these efforts. More information about work zone data can be found in Implementing the Rule on Work Zone Safety and Mobility.

The following examples are meant to assist agencies with developing their own methods of collecting and analyzing work zone data, and are not meant to advocate a "one size fits all" approach.

State Examples

Florida Department of Transportation

The Florida DOT (FDOT) has a process for collecting and analyzing work zone fatality data and has been refining this process for nearly 20 years. FDOT gathers this data from two separate crash report forms: an FDOT Office of Construction Crash Report Form (officially called the Engineer's Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) Evaluation At Crash Site) and a Police Crash Report Form (filled out by the Florida Highway Patrol). The FDOT crash report form is included on pages 75-76 of NCHRP 627: Traffic Safety Evaluation of Daytime and Nighttime Work Zones (PDF 3MB). This form is completed by the project administrator for any crash in a work zone. It is put in the project file and for fatalities it is sent to the FDOT Office of Construction. Information gathered in the report includes a diagram of the crash, analysis of conditions (pavement, visibility, routing), the type of project, whether there have been other crashes in the same vicinity, whether police investigated the crash, information on if the immediate area at the crash site is in accordance with State standards, the MUTCD, and the traffic control plan, and if there are recommended enhancements to maintenance of traffic at the crash site.

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) crash report forms also include information on work zone crashes. In addition to fields used for all crashes, these forms include work zone specific information such as whether the crash was work zone related, where the crash occurred in the work zone, the type of work zone, presence of workers, presence of law enforcement, and whether the collision was with work zone equipment. The FHP crash form information is input to a crash analysis reporting system (CARS). CARS can be searched on a variety of parameters, such as crash severity, location/intersection, type of maintenance of traffic, and type of crash. The FDOT Design Office reviews all work zone related reports in CARS annually to determine if any trends can be identified. From this information they determine if they need to modify their work zone practices or if countermeasures need to be implemented to prevent future crashes.

Kansas Department of Transportation

The Kansas DOT (KDOT) has standard operating procedures for reporting accidents and collecting data in construction and maintenance work zones. The KDOT District Engineer is responsible for providing law enforcement agencies with the contact information for agency personnel authorized to receive crash information. The District Engineer also must inform law enforcement agencies in the District that they need to notify authorized agency personnel of any and all crashes that occur in construction or maintenance work zones and supply those personnel with all of the necessary information concerning the crash. The KDOT supervisor in charge at a construction or maintenance work zone must review the crash information provided by the law enforcement agency for probable causes of the crash and complete a crash report. This report includes the Accident Investigation Report form (HTML, PDF 7KB).

As an example of using data at the process-level, KDOT has analyzed collected work zone crash data to help develop and implement effective countermeasures to prevent future work zone crashes. Two recent reports from a study, "Determining the Major Causes of Highway Work Zone Accidents in Kansas" (type KU-05-1 and KU-06-1 in the Search For field to find the reports), describe how KDOT examined crash data from the KDOT accident database and accident reports and systematically examined the work zone fatal crashes using statistical analysis methods, such as descriptive analyses and regression analyses. As a result, KDOT was able to determine unique crash characteristics and risk factors in work zones and make recommendations for work zone safety improvements.

Montana Department of Transportation

Appendix G of the Montana DOT (MDT) Work Zone Safety and Mobility Policy (PDF 537KB) includes guidelines for data collection. At the project level, the policy states that MDT should use available construction zone crash data and operational information to manage construction zone impacts for specific projects during implementation. Construction personnel should use the data to evaluate whether or not mitigation strategies are needed to correct deficiencies or to improve safety and/or mobility. Both real-time and archived data from systems can be used to identify safety and mobility issues and trends and to take appropriate action as necessary. The policy recommends the use of police crash reports as useful tools for evaluating construction zone practices. Under the policy, MDT will collect traffic delay data and traffic volume data in construction zones for significant projects, analyze the data, and use it to compare actual performance against the projected delays and mobility objectives determined during the design stage.

At the process level, MDT analyzes construction zone crash and operational data from multiple projects to identify ways to improve work zone safety and mobility. Every two years, the MDT Safety Management Section performs a statewide construction zone safety engineering analysis, based on the statewide crash records from the Montana Highway Patrol. Every year, the MDT Work Zone Safety & Mobility Core Team assesses the past construction zone crashes to see if any immediate corrective action can be implemented.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) maintains a memorandum of understanding with the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) that the PSP will provide assistance in construction zones by alerting motorists of queues in freeway traffic projects. As part of this program, PSP monitors queue lengths every 30 minutes while performing their PSP assistance role, records this information on a form, and then provides this information to the project and work zone manager at the beginning of each week. PennDOT districts are expected to use this data to help predict queue length on future projects. The PennDOT Traffic Engineering and Operations Manual (PDF 5.91MB) provides detailed information, procedures, and guidelines about the PSP assistance program (beginning on page 389), and also includes the Queue Length Reporting Form (on page 413).

Ohio Department of Transportation

In 2002, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) embarked on a data analysis effort to determine if an increased number of work zones was causing more crashes, and, if so, to investigate what could be done to prevent the increase in crashes. Using data collected during construction and prior to construction, ODOT performed a before/after comparison of crash rates on major Interstate work zones. Based on the findings of this analysis, ODOT was able to make several improvements to its work zone planning and design procedures. This led ODOT to develop in 2004 a process to monitor work zone crashes. ODOT obtains work zone crash reports in near real-time from local law enforcement and then inputs this information into a database that sorts crashes into one-half mile segments for comparison to historical pre-construction average crash frequency. When ODOT finds abnormally high concentrations of crashes in a certain location after the implementation of a work zone, ODOT performs a field visit to the construction area to look for causes and potential fixes.

Texas Department of Transportation

The Texas DOT (TxDOT) researched the best approaches for collecting work zone performance measure data. Findings indicate that TxDOT should initially focus on collecting queue length and travel time delay data caused by temporary lane closures. If the work zone is located within the limits of a functioning electronic traffic surveillance system, data from the traffic sensors of that system can be used to develop the targeted measures of work zone performance. If a traffic surveillance system is not available, queue length data collected by TxDOT field crews can be used.

Guidance and Technical Resources

  • Webinar on Data Needs, Availability, and Opportunities for Work Zone Performance Measures – Held on March 19, 2013
    • Recording
    • Transcript (HTML, PDF 112KB)
    • Presentation, by Jawad Paracha, FHWA; Gerald Ullman and Geza Pesti, Texas A&M Transportation Institute; and Rachel Klein, Battelle (HTML, PDF 4.4MB)
  • Webinar on Work Zone Fatality Reduction Strategies – Held on May 23, 2012
    • Recording
    • Transcript (HTML, PDF 110KB)
    • Introduction Presentation, by Tracy Scriba, FHWA (HTML, PDF 476KB)
    • California Presentation, by Joe Jeffrey, Road-Tech Safety Services (HTML, PDF 467KB)
    • Florida Presentation, by Stefanie Maxwell, Florida DOT (HTML, PDF 3.2MB)
    • North Carolina Presentation, by Steve Kite, North Carolina DOT (HTML, PDF 319KB)
  • AASHTO/FHWA Domestic Scan on Work Zone Assessment, Data Collection, and Performance Measurement (NCHRP 08-04) – Results of March 2010 scan looking at how 14 State agencies are planning for, monitoring, and managing work zone performance.
    • Final Report (PDF 3.8MB) – Provides detailed information about what was learned during the scan, a summary of the scan's key findings and recommendations, and the scan team's implementation strategy for national dissemination of this information to other transportation agencies.
    • Summary Report (HTML, PDF 66KB) – Summarizes the scan findings, recommendations based on the findings, and potential ways to disseminate the scan results.
    • Brochure (HTML, PDF 1.9MB) – Shares information on practices found during the scan and provides the key findings, challenges, and recommendations from the scan.
    • Webinar Recording – Provides an overview of the findings and recommendations from the scan as well a presentation on some of the Ohio DOT's practices that were encountered during the scan.
  • Work Zone Performance Measures – Provides technical resources and examples related to work zone performance measures.
  • Work Zone Safety Data Collection and Analysis Guide – Discusses work zone safety-related data analysis methods that are effective in identifying problems, choosing safety strategies, and developing work zone crash reduction programs.

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®.

PPT files can be viewed with the Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer.