Work Zone Intrusion Frequency and Characteristics

Traffic intrusions into work zones, when they occur, present a significant safety risk to construction, maintenance, and utility workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, “struck-by” crashes are a major cause of roadway construction worker deaths. Motorists are also at risk when intruding into a work zone, potentially colliding with work equipment and materials. Unfortunately, the rate at which intrusions occur, and the factors that influence that rate, are not well understood at this time. As a result, it is difficult to quantify possible benefits of intrusion mitigation strategies (e.g., use of positive protection, intrusion alarms, etc.) or determine when and where such strategies are cost-effective. Recent advancements in sensor technology (such as 360-degree Lidar, thermal cameras, machine vision, and others) now allow vehicle trajectories to be tracked and could be used to monitor work zones and systematically collect intrusion data. Research is needed to determine which technologies are best suited for this purpose, and then to quantify and characterize intrusions that occur into work zones when using that technology. The objectives of this research are to (1) perform an assessment of the technologies and methods available to detect work zone intrusions; (2) use appropriate technologies and methods to collect data on work zone intrusion frequency and characteristics at a sampling of work zones nationally; and (3) develop predictive models and methods to estimate intrusion likelihood as a function of key roadway, traffic, and work zone variables based on the collected data to improve work zone safety management decision-making. Current regulation (23 CFR 630 subpart K) requires consideration and management of road user and worker safety in work zones. The processes, procedures, and/or guidance shall address the use of positive protection devices, exposure control measures, other traffic control measures including uniformed law enforcement officers, and the safe entry/exit of work vehicles onto/from the travel lanes. Data on actual intrusions is urgently needed to assist agencies in making work zone safety management decisions.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $600000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 17-107

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Harwood, Leslie

  • Start Date: 20220609
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01773416
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 17-107
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 27 2021 8:10PM