WRONG-WAY MOVEMENTS ON DIVIDED HIGHWAYS

The Indiana State Highway Commission, recognizing the wrong-way accident problem, participated in a study of it on Indiana highways. The study utilized the accident records of divided highways in Indiana for the years 1970, 1972, and 1972 as a data base. The objectives of the study were to make: (1) a quantitative assessment of the frequency of wrong-way movements on divided highways in Indiana with and without fully-controlled access; (2) an evaluation of the influence existing geometric design practices, including channelization and median design, have on the frequency of wrong-way movements on divided highways; (3) an evaluation of the effects existing driver information practices have on the frequency of wrong-way movements on divided highways; (4) proposals for alternative geometric design practices to reduce the frequency of wrong-way movements on divided highways; and (5) proposals for alternative driver information practices to reduce the frequency of wrong-way movements on divided highways. Ninety-six such accidents were found. Based on the data collected, causes of wrong-way movements were identified and preventive measures responsive to these causes were developed. The following are some of the major findings of this study: (1) Of the 96 accidents, 27 had one or more fatalities, 29 had one or more injuries, and 40 resulted in property damage; (2) Wrong-way accidents are more severe but occur less frequently on highways with fully- controlled access than on those without; (3) Wrong-way accidents occur most frequently of Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and also between 6:00 PM and 4:00 AM; (4) Wrong- way drivers tend to be drunk (42 of 77 observations), tend to be older, or tend to be driving late at night when they are likely to be fatigued; (5) Only 31 percent of the 96 wrong-way drivers were not adversely influenced by advanced age, fatigue, and/or alcohol consumption; (6) Wrong-way movements tended to originate from areas with low land-use density; (7) Wrong-way movements tended to take place where and when traffic volumes were low; (8) Wrong-way movements tended to take place at times of low visibility; (9) Signing at most wrong-way movement sites was good, with the exception of little or no signing at driveway access points; (10) Two types of design elements that had potential to reduce the frequency of wrong-way movements were found to be (a) any design that increases the driver's ability to see and understand the overall intersection configurations and (b) the use of channelizing islands and curbs to impede potential wrong-way movements; and (1) Geometric design modifications to reduce wrong-way movements at certain locations were developed, including channelization at diamond and parclo interchanges and raising the crossroad elevation at divided highway intersections and directional driveways.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Purdue University/Indiana Department of Transportation JHRP

    Purdue University, School of Civil Engineering
    West Lafayette, IN  USA  47907-1284
  • Authors:
    • Scifres, P N
    • Loutzenheiser, R C
  • Publication Date: 1975-7

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 46 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00126838
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: JHRP-13-75 Tech Paper, HS-017 293
  • Contract Numbers: C-36-590
  • Files: HSL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 5 1977 12:00AM