Are highway constructions associated with increased transport incidents? A case study of NSW Pacific Highway Construction zones 2011-16
ACRS, DOI:10.33492/JRS-D-20-00230, https://doi.org/10.33492/JRS-D-20-00230
Submission Date: February 11, 2021 Journal
Suggested Citation: Sarrami, P., Lemin, P., Balogh, Z.J., Singh, H., Assareh, H., Hall, B., Lassen, C., McDougall, D., Dale, K., Wullschleger, M. and Dinh, M. (2021) Are highway constructions associated with increased transport incidents? A case study of NSW Pacific Highway construction zones 2011-16. Journal of Road Safety, 32(1), 17-23. https://doi.org/10.33492/JRS-D-20-00230
Transport incidents are among the major causes of trauma and injury in Australia and worldwide. While improving infrastructure can decrease the rate of incidents, the required construction imposes challenges regarding simultaneous public use of the relevant road sections. This study focused on construction zones along the New South Wales (NSW) Pacific Highway. We aimed to investigate if the rate of people who had major trauma as a result of a transport incident in a construction zone was higher than the rate of people with similar incidents at other times. This was a retrospective study, conducted by screening the data of patients admitted to the trauma services, or who died due to traffic incidents on the NSW Pacific Highway 2011-2016. We identified 35 causalities who experienced a traffic incident within a construction zone, 19 of these incidents occurred during the construction dates and 16 before or after those dates. The rate of casualty in construction periods was 2.21 per 1000 days, which is significantly higher than the rate in non-construction periods (1.2 per 1000 days, p-value: 0.037). There was no significant difference between the age, injury severity score and mortality rate of casualties who had an incident during the construction dates and those who had an incident in non-construction periods. This study indicated that the rate of incidents increased at NSW Pacific Highway construction zones during construction periods. More investigation is needed to improve the safety of road users during highway road constructions.