Investigating the Effect on Driver Performance of Advanced Warning Flashers at Signalized Intersections

Principal Investigator:

Michael Wade, Professor and Director, Kinesiology

Project Summary:

In an effort to provide drivers with a better indicator of the signal status of an upcoming intersection, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) has provided selected signalized intersections on selected mainline roadways in Minnesota with advanced warning flashers (AWFs). Although effects of AWFs on traffic safety and driver performance have been documented with a series of field research studies, no systematic research has been performed under carefully controlled simulated driving conditions that have directly addressed the influence of AWFs on driver performance. This project involves a human factors analysis of the effects of a signalized intersection AWF on driver control of vehicle speed and braking behavior under simulated driving conditions, with different prevailing vehicle speeds and with the AWF actuated at different AWF- vehicle proximities. It is anticipated that results from the study may point to possible strategies for improving the traffic engineering design of AWF-intersection systems, with possible long-term AWF utilization and traffic safety benefits.


Project Details: