Dr Ross Blackman, from QUT’s Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q), said roadworks were often a cause of frustration to drivers and posed a significant danger to motorists and road workers.
“This study is about pinpointing driver reactions to work zone hazards,” Dr Blackman said.
“We suspect the environment at roadwork sites has an influence on how people drive through these areas,” he said.
“For example we want to know whether lower speed limits, roadwork equipment or delays impact the way drivers navigate roadwork sites.”
Dr Blackman said understanding the driver experience at roadwork sites was vital to providing a safe working environment for employees.
“Roadwork sites are a dangerous place due to the presence of many hazards including heavy machinery, adverse environmental conditions and moving vehicles of all shapes and sizes.
“Ideally roadwork sites should be as safe as any other road environment but we know this is not the case,” he said.
“Roadwork sites have high crash rates and there have been numerous fatalities at roadwork sites in Queensland and these have involved workers and public road users.”
Dr Blackman said as a result of widespread flooding across the state, extensive roadwork projects were being carried out on Queensland roads.
“Roadworks are a fact of life, particularly in a state like Queensland where a large road network is required to service a relatively small population and extreme weather events are relatively frequent,” Dr Blackman said.
“Road users benefit in the long term from better and more sustainable roads, while in the short term the necessary work may cause inconvenience and frustration.”
To take part in the study, visit the Driver Experience of Roadworks Survey until 31 January 2014. The survey is open to Queensland drivers who have driven at least weekly over the past 12 months and have not worked on roadwork sites.
Sandra Hutchinson, QUT Media (Tue, Wed, Fri), 07 3138 9449 or firstname.lastname@example.org
After hours, Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901