For decades the importance of highway work zone safety has increased considerably with the continual increase in the number of work zones present on highways for repairs and expansion.
Rural work zones on two-lane highways are particularly hazardous and cause a significant safety concern, due to the disruption of regular traffic flow. In this study, researchers determined
motorists’ response to warning signs in rural two-lane highway work zones. The researchers divided vehicles into three classes (passenger car, truck, and semitrailer) and compared the mean
change in speed of these classes based on three different sign setups; portable changeable message sign (PCMS) off, PCMS on, and a temporary traffic sign (W20-1, “Road Work Ahead”). Field experiments were conducted on 2 two-lane rural highways in Kansas (US 36 and US 73/159). The mean change in speed of each vehicle class for each setup was calculated. Statistical software was used on the data to perform a univariate analysis of variance test to check whether or not there was a significant interaction between motorists’ response and sign setups. The results showed that for the passenger car class there was a significant interaction with the signs.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: 2009
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Topics: Driver Behavior; Portable Changeable Message Signs; Rural Highways; Signing; Signs; Work Zones