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U. S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


NHTSA People Saving People
DOT HS 808 705

April 1998

Introduction

Background

Method

Findings

Detailed Findings

General Discussion

Specific Issues

APPENDIX A

APPENDIX B


List of Tables
1 Composition of Beltway Driver Groups
2 How Participants Use the Beltway
3 Perceived Causes of Beltway Crashes
4 Perceived Causes of Beltway Crashes - Commercial Drivers
5 Responses to Aggressiveness Screening Questions

List of Figures
1 Questionnaire Responses - General vs. Aggressive Drivers

Work Zone Issues Supported

Relatively few people believe that construction is a direct cause of many Beltway crashes. Most think construction leads to congestion and in that way may be an indirect cause. Most of the participants said construction signs give enough advance warning, although some said that traffic sometimes backs up beyond the signs, thus negating any advance warning. Others complained about false alarms, warning of construction that is not there when they reach the site.

Opinions were split about 50/50 regarding whether law enforcement presence should be required at major construction sites. Some people think it is a waste of money. Others think the sight of a flashing blue light calls attention to construction and helps slow traffic down to a safe speed.

Almost all participants claimed they slow down in construction zones but few slow down to the speeds shown on the signs. A few remarked that during rush hours a driver is lucky to get up to the posted speed in a construction zone.