Reducing Crash Risk at Work Zones in South Carolina

Work zone crash data in South Carolina collected since 2014 demonstrated a continued trend of increasing crashes and fatalities annually. In 2017, Governor Henry McMaster signed into law House Bill H. 4033, known as the Highway Workers' Safety Act, which seeks to protect SCDOT’s workers and contractors while on the job performing various highway construction and maintenance activities. Despite the introduction of this law, crash data through 2018 continued the trend of increasing crashes and fatalities in work zones. To help provide a safer work environment for its workers and contractors, the SCDOT is interested in understanding the factors that contribute to crashes at and within the influence area of work zones, and exploring the appropriate countermeasures to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes at or influenced by work zones. The objectives of this research project are to: (i) review work zone related crash reports to verify the reported information, (ii) identify factors that contribute to work zone related crashes in SC, (iii) identify countermeasures based on factors identified in objective (ii), (iv) understand the impact of the presence of law enforcement at work zones, and (v) develop a predictive work zone risk assessment tool to proactively assess the risk at the beginning/during the lifespan of a project.