Nichole Morris, Katelyn Schwieters, Curtis Craig, Disi Tian
A novel infrastructure design known as the J-turn intersection reduces the risk of serious and fatal crashes at thru-STOP intersections through decreasing points of conflict at an intersection by restricting crossing movements from the minor road. Despite their demonstrated safety efficacy, J-turns have not been met with uniformly positive support. In this research, we first examine novice driver baseline attitudes and driving behaviors on J-turns using a driving simulator study. Results demonstrate that critical errors are decreased with driving exposure to the J-turn; however, attitudes toward J-turns are not improved by exposure alone. A series of studies then evaluates the efficacy of various messaging strategies and educational materials on improving attitudes toward J-turns. The findings from these studies identify that the use of both educational materials and persuasive and customized messaging strategies is an effective method for increasing acceptance of J-turns across diverse resident populations (i.e., rural, suburban, and urban) and among stakeholders in Minnesota. This work demonstrates the importance of the role of proactive educational programs and community initiatives in promoting the acceptance and buy-in toward novel roadway treatments, such as J-turns, among diverse drivers, communities, and stakeholder groups.
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