The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and the Massachusetts Work Safety Guidelines contain little guidance with respect to aids for driving in nighttime construction zones. This research studied mature and younger drivers as they drove through two types of construction zones (a lane shift and a lane closure), under three illumination levels (day, dusk, and night). Four nighttime runs were made by each subject: 1) with reflectorized lane markings, 2) with reflectors on the construction barrels, 3) with both types of reflectors, and 4) with no reflectors. For each run there was a stretch of road before and after the construction zone. All subjects drove a virtual environments based driving simulator. The younger drivers drove about 4 to 8 mph faster than the mature drivers. Both the younger and mature drivers drove slower (about 5 mph) under the nighttime illumination conditions, with mature drivers driving slowest during the unaided nighttime run. Mature drivers reported that the reflectorized lane markings helped in determining the path of the roadway. The younger drivers thought that the brightness level of the reflectors was distracting. All drivers preferred warning signs with symbols rather than words. The authors recommend that construction zones be equipped with roadway reflectors to aid mature drivers during nighttime illumination conditions.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Northeastern University

    Virtual Environments Laboratory, 334 Snell Engineering Center
    Boston, MA  United States  02115

    Massachusetts Highway Department

    10 Park Plaza
    Boston, MA  United States  02116-3973

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Chiu, S
    • Mourant, R R
    • Belambe, A
    • Jaeger, B
  • Publication Date: 1997-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 52 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00977148
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 17 2004 12:00AM