Michael Wade, Professor and Director, Kinesiology
The purpose of this project is to assist MnDOT's Office of Traffic Engineering in evaluating 3M's new retroreflective signing material called Diamond Grade. After conversation with 3M and MnDOT people, the most useful and immediately applicable form of human factors evaluative research is to work first on a test track and then validate these findings on actual highways. In both cases HFRL will perform formal experiments sampling different strata of Minnesota's licensed driving population. HFRL will measure variables which determine the ability of signing materials to correctly convey information to drivers in the wide range of actual driving conditions found on the test track as well as on actual highways. Using formally designed experiments will allow us to make inferences based on our statistical analyses of the data That is, we will not only be able to report what happened, but we will be able to infer what will happen to the wider population from which our sample was drawn.