Document Type


Publication Date



American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Source Publication

Journal of Transportation Engineering

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)TE.1943-5436.0000055


Numerous factors may contribute to high-severity crashes in highway work zones. Identifying these factors and then alleviating their impact is a challenging task that traffic engineers and researchers have to confront. In this study, the work zone risk factors that could increase the probability of causing fatalities when severe crashes occur were examined using a comprehensive approach. The researchers first identified the significant risk factors based on a screening process that incorporates both statistical analyses and empirical research findings. They then systematically investigated these factors using logistic regression and frequency analysis techniques. The severe crashes including the fatal crashes between 1998 and 2004 and injury crashes between 2003 and 2004 in Kansas highway work zones were used in the study. The assessed risk factors included variables describing driver characteristics, environmental conditions, crash road conditions, and other crash information. The results of this study will help traffic engineers to understand these risk factors and how the factors could increase the likelihood of having fatalities when a severe crash occurs in a work zone. Consequently, effective safety countermeasures may be designed at the work zone planning and installation stages to prevent safety deficiencies.


Accepted version. Journal of Transportation Engineering, Vol. 135, No. 10 (October 2009): 694-701. DOI. © 2009 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Used with permission.

Yong Bai was affiliated with University of Kansas at the time of publication.

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