Investigation of Innovations in Mounted Attenuators for Safety in Work Zones

During the first ten months of 2022, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews had been struck by vehicles 105 times in work zones. Roadway work zone accidents usually end in tragedy. Currently, mobile attenuators are attached to state-owned dump trucks and operated by highway workers to lessen the impact to the entire work zone when accidents occur. These vehicles and those driving them are put into harm's way to act as a first line of defense. This puts valuable employees in a position that is of a higher safety risk than normal and thus impacts one of the ODOT's most valuable assets, workers. In early 2021, ODOT initiated a research project that investigated the use of attenuators that could be mounted to a truck or automated to travel a specific distance behind a lead vehicle that serves as a barrier to crews working on the highways. This would be in lieu of an ODOT dump truck being driven by ODOT employees functioning as a sacrificial vehicle to protect workers from collisions due to vehicles not observing work zone restrictions. The previous study identified some potentially cost-effective alternatives that could increase the safety of employees while limiting the damage to ODOT's primary piece of field equipment, dump trucks, but fell short of providing tested alternative solutions. Since the initiation of the previous research, advances in automated technology have occurred that may have enhanced the potential for identifying a viable, reliable, and effective solution. The goal of this research is to improve the safety of ODOT employees in work. The objectives are: (1) Determine the viability of incorporating automated technologies into existing dump truck uses in work zones, focusing specifically on automating existing truck mounted attenuator dump trucks. (2) Analyze existing functional requirements and modify as needed to ensure compatibility with ODOT's current fleet design/schematics, as well as highway management personnel operations. (3) Demonstrate the performance of recommended solution(s), as approved by ODOT, to validate safety improvements, performance, overall effectiveness, and benefit/cost analysis (inclusive of purchase, maintenance, and overall life expectancy).


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $1326252
  • Contract Numbers:




  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    Office of Planning, Environment and Realty (HEP)
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Ohio Department of Transportation

    Research Program
    1980 West Broad Street
    Columbus, OH  United States  43223
  • Project Managers:

    Martindale, Jill

  • Performing Organizations:

    Transportation Research Center Incorporated

    10820 State Route 347
    East Liberty, OH  United States  43319
  • Principal Investigators:

    Mandokhot, Mohit

  • Start Date: 20231019
  • Expected Completion Date: 20260219
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01896174
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 39159, 136662, 118072
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 16 2023 1:48PM