Impact on Driver Behavior of Steady-Burn Warning Lights on Channelizing Drums in Work ZonesAuthor/Presenter: Gates, Timothy J.; Savolainen, Peter T.; Datta, Tapan K.; Nannapaneni, Prasad
Research was performed to explore the impact on driver behavior of steady-burn warning lights on drums used in highway work zones in the state of Michigan. Various characteristics related to nighttime driver behavior were evaluated with data collected in actual work zones. Thirty-six randomly selected work zones in 15 counties throughout lower Michigan were investigated in this study. Collectively, the work zones represented a broad range of commonly occurring scenarios. Work zones that used drums with steady-burn warning lights and work zones that did not were examined in a comparative parallel study. Data on nighttime driver behavior were collected by recording the movements of randomly selected subject vehicles as they were followed by a survey vehicle through the study work zones. For each subject vehicle, three measures of driver behavior were collected. The measures were (a) percent of time spent in the center lane position, (b) percent of time spent in the lane position closest to the drums, and (c) rate of steering reversals per minute. The data were compared by using analysis of variance techniques. The results showed that the presence of steady-burn warning lights on drums used to channelize traffic in work zones did not significantly affect either the time vehicles spent in the center lane position or the rate of steering reversals. The presence of steady-burn warning lights did, however, increase the tendency of drivers to travel in relatively close proximity to the drums. Collectively, the research findings suggest that the use of steady-burn warning lights on channelizing drums in work zones does not have a substantive impact on nighttime driver behavior.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Source URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Behavior; Drums; Warning Lights