Date Approved

2018

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Technology Studies

Committee Member

Suleiman Ashur, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kasim Korkmaz, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James Stein, Ph.D.

Abstract

Infrastructure in the US is severely aged and outdated. This presents a seemingly paradoxical problem in the field of construction management: In order to fix and make roads and highways more safe, construction zones must become inherently less safe in the process. There is a high cost to taxpayers and drivers, as work zones experience a significant amount of crashes and fatalities each year. To mitigate some of the factors that contribute to these crashes, this paper attempts to deliver guidelines on how to update relevant crash data, identify relevant factors, and create recommendations accordingly. The research focused particularly on data from 2016 and closely observed data from the year preceding and following isolate variables affecting to work zone safety: the crash rate during construction compared to the time before construction and to the time after construction. Descriptive statistics (mean, histogram), a paired t-test, and an ANOVA test were used to test the crash rate differences. In addition, this study tested the impact of the type of work on the crash rate frequency. The study found with 95% confidence level that there is no significant difference in mean crash rates between construction time and non-construction time. Additionally, the study attempts to corroborate these data with external factors such as population and environment type and ultimately determine whether these factors are indeed significant to work zone safety. Finally, I suggest a series of recommendations to the Michigan Department of Transportation for best practices in ensuring work zone safety.

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