Directional Rumble Strips for Reducing Wrong-Way-Driving Freeway Entries

Principal Investigator:

Albert C.J. Luo, Professor, N/A

Co-Investigator

Project Summary:

Wrong-way driving on freeways has been identified as a serious traffic safety problem. Drivers who make wrong-way entries onto freeways pose a serious risk to the safety of other motorists and themselves. This study investigated the feasibility of a novel design of directional rumble strips (DRS) to discourage wrong-way entries onto freeway exit ramps. First, initial field tests conducted by the Auburn University (AU) team evaluated the effectiveness of existing transverse rumble strip (TRS) applications and set the driver's perceptibility threshold of sound and vibration based on the field data. The findings of these tests supported the possibility of using DRS to influence the wrong-way driver's behavior and also provide references for the DRS design and effectiveness evaluations. Later, several conceptual designs of DRS were proposed based on the state department of transportation design guidelines, current practices, and feedback from a national survey (conducted to collect opinions on the conceptual designs from transportation practitioners and vendors who are knowledgeable about rumble strip design, manufacture, and installation). Based on survey and literature review results, a total of five patterns and eight configurations were developed for evaluation. The field tests were conducted to collect noise and vibrations generated by the proposed eight DRS configurations at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) at AU. Then, statistical analysis was conducted to examine if there is a significant difference in the sound and vibration between right and wrong directions. The Pattern C generated significant different sound and vibration signals when driving in the wrong-way direction and the right-way direction from 10 to 25 mph. Pattern E shows statistical vibration difference in 45 mph. Finally, DRS Pattern C, Pattern D Configuration 3, and Pattern E were recommended for further optimization and implementation based on their attention-getting effects.

Sponsor:

Project Details:

  • Start date: 08/2014
  • Project Status: Active
  • Research Area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Safety, Traffic Operations