Vehicle Accidents at Maintenance and Utility Work Zones

Report No: 79-R22

Published in 1978

About the report:

The objective of this study was to determine the magnitude and characteristics of safety problems, in terms of reported accidents, that are associated with moving vehicular traffic around and through highway maintenance and utility work zones. This was accomplished by examining 280 maintenance and utility work zone accidents that occurred on the Virginia state highway network over a period of 14 months. These represented approximately 0.4% of the total number of accidents reported during that period. A review of accident reporting procedures, however, indicated that the sample of accidents examined did not include a variety of work zone accidents where the roadway was not under physical repair (e.g., sweeping and landscaping) or where the first event in the accident was not related to the work activity (e.g., driver falling asleep). The report discusses several characteristics of the maintenance and utility work zone accidents including general and specific locations of the accident, time of the accident, roadway and environmental factors, characteristics of the work zone, cause of the accident, and accident severity. Where data were available comparisons were made between the maintenance and utility work zone accidents and all reported accidents.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Bradley T. Hargroves

Last updated: January 26, 2024

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