Using Visual Patterns to Influence Driver Behavior

Principal Investigator:

John Carmody, Director Campus/College level, Center for Sustainable Building Research

Project Summary:

Roadways present the driver with a variety of restricted or confined settings. These include conditions such as retaining walls or noise barriers close to the road, entrance ramps or elevated roadways at interchanges, tunnels, underpasses, and other situations with obstructed visibility or converging traffic lanes. Also included are temporary conditions such as work zones or accident sites. Each of these restricted or confined roadway settings presents particular problems that can result in safety hazards or reduce the rate of traffic flow - particularly when there are tight curves, grade changes, or other visual obstructions. In some situations such as a curving section of road or a work zone, it may be desirable for traffic to slow down in a predictable, safe manner. In other cases, such as tunnel or an accident site, the most desirable behavior may be for drivers to maintain constant speed to avoid collisions and maximize traffic flow. This project uses a driving simulator to investigate how various visual patterns along the roadway affect driving behavior. It is anticipated that visual patterns applied to retaining walls and other roadway elements will influence traffic speed and alignment.


Project Details: