This field study examined driver responses to two types of potential highway skidding hazard: wet pavements subjected to high frictional driving demands, and bridges during periods of possible preferential icing. Study objectives were to examine motorists' general awareness of the hazards and to asses the relative effectiveness of various signing treatments which warn of the hazards. Measures of signing effectiveness were motorists' speeds at critical driving locations and questionnaire responses regarding motorists' observations and interpretations of the signs. Three curved highway sections were treated with five experimental signing conditions. Experimental signing conditions incorporating flashing lifhts were effective at reducing highest quartile mean speeds below the critical safe wet pavement speed based on roadway geometry and surface conditions. Sixty percent of the interviewed motorists saw and properly interpreted the more conspicuous warning signs. Motorists' cues of potential hazard were observed to be: roadewy curvature and superelevation, behavior of other motorists, appearance of pavement surface, ambient conditions, known site accident history, and presence of the warning sign. About one percent of the interviewed motorists cited the warning sign as their cue of potential skidding hazard. Two bridge approaches were signed using combinations of activated and nonactivated signs both at the bridge and in advance of the bridge during periods of possible preferential icing. Significant speed reductions on the bridge and at the bridge entry point were elicited by activated signing. Activated signing used at the bridge was observed to have a greater impact than activated signing used at the advance location. /Author/

  • Corporate Authors:

    Biotechnology, Incorporated

    3027 Rosemary Lane
    Falls Church, VA  United States  22042
  • Authors:
    • Hanscom, F R
  • Publication Date: 1974-7

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 216 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00130850
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-RD-74- 66 Final Rpt., HS-021 309, FCP 31H6-012
  • Contract Numbers: FH-11-7972
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 29 1976 12:00AM