Effects of weather-controlled variable message signing on driver behaviour: Dissertation

    Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

    Abstract

    This study investigated the effects of local and frequently updated information about adverse weather and road conditions on driver behaviour. The information was transmitted by several types of variable message signs (VMS). Two evaluations investigated the effects of VMS systems involving an individual sign or two signs; two other evaluations focused on more extensive VMS systems involving several signs, and two evaluations studied the effects of the sign technology. The slippery road condition sign and minimum headway sign decreased the mean speed of cars travelling in free-flow traffic by 1-2 km/h. The minimum headway sign also decreased the proportion of short headways. In addition, drivers' reports suggested that these variable message signs have other effects on driver behaviour, such as the refocusing of attention to seek cues on potential hazards, testing the slipperiness of the road, and more careful passing behaviour. Lowering the speed limit from 100 km/h to 80 km/h on a weather-controlled road decreased the mean speed by an average of 3.4 km/h in winter. The system proved most effective when adverse weather and road conditions were not easy to detect. The system also decreased the standard deviation of speed. Most drivers accepted lowered speed limits and found variable speed limits useful. Variable speed limit signs using fibre-optic technology were found to be more effective than electromechanical signs. However, effective signs may divert the driver's attention from adjacent fixed signing. The slippery road condition sign is recommended for careful use at critical spots, whereas a system including variable speed limits is recommended for somewhat longer road sections. The use of fibre-optic signs is recommended for weather-controlled applications.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor Degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Luoma, Juha, Advisor
    Award date2 Nov 2001
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs951-38-5871-5
    Electronic ISBNs951-38-5872-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

    Fingerprint

    Variable message signs
    Fiber optics
    Hazards
    Railroad cars
    Testing

    Keywords

    • traffic signs
    • speed limit
    • variable message signs
    • VMS
    • cold weather
    • driver behavior
    • road condition
    • slippery
    • evaluation
    • information systems
    • winter
    • road surface
    • ice
    • traffic safety

    Cite this

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    title = "Effects of weather-controlled variable message signing on driver behaviour: Dissertation",
    abstract = "This study investigated the effects of local and frequently updated information about adverse weather and road conditions on driver behaviour. The information was transmitted by several types of variable message signs (VMS). Two evaluations investigated the effects of VMS systems involving an individual sign or two signs; two other evaluations focused on more extensive VMS systems involving several signs, and two evaluations studied the effects of the sign technology. The slippery road condition sign and minimum headway sign decreased the mean speed of cars travelling in free-flow traffic by 1-2 km/h. The minimum headway sign also decreased the proportion of short headways. In addition, drivers' reports suggested that these variable message signs have other effects on driver behaviour, such as the refocusing of attention to seek cues on potential hazards, testing the slipperiness of the road, and more careful passing behaviour. Lowering the speed limit from 100 km/h to 80 km/h on a weather-controlled road decreased the mean speed by an average of 3.4 km/h in winter. The system proved most effective when adverse weather and road conditions were not easy to detect. The system also decreased the standard deviation of speed. Most drivers accepted lowered speed limits and found variable speed limits useful. Variable speed limit signs using fibre-optic technology were found to be more effective than electromechanical signs. However, effective signs may divert the driver's attention from adjacent fixed signing. The slippery road condition sign is recommended for careful use at critical spots, whereas a system including variable speed limits is recommended for somewhat longer road sections. The use of fibre-optic signs is recommended for weather-controlled applications.",
    keywords = "traffic signs, speed limit, variable message signs, VMS, cold weather, driver behavior, road condition, slippery, evaluation, information systems, winter, road surface, ice, traffic safety",
    author = "Pirkko R{\"a}m{\"a}",
    year = "2001",
    language = "English",
    isbn = "951-38-5871-5",
    series = "VTT Publications",
    publisher = "VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland",
    number = "447",
    address = "Finland",
    school = "Aalto University",

    }

    Effects of weather-controlled variable message signing on driver behaviour : Dissertation. / Rämä, Pirkko.

    Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2001. 59 p.

    Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

    TY - THES

    T1 - Effects of weather-controlled variable message signing on driver behaviour

    T2 - Dissertation

    AU - Rämä, Pirkko

    PY - 2001

    Y1 - 2001

    N2 - This study investigated the effects of local and frequently updated information about adverse weather and road conditions on driver behaviour. The information was transmitted by several types of variable message signs (VMS). Two evaluations investigated the effects of VMS systems involving an individual sign or two signs; two other evaluations focused on more extensive VMS systems involving several signs, and two evaluations studied the effects of the sign technology. The slippery road condition sign and minimum headway sign decreased the mean speed of cars travelling in free-flow traffic by 1-2 km/h. The minimum headway sign also decreased the proportion of short headways. In addition, drivers' reports suggested that these variable message signs have other effects on driver behaviour, such as the refocusing of attention to seek cues on potential hazards, testing the slipperiness of the road, and more careful passing behaviour. Lowering the speed limit from 100 km/h to 80 km/h on a weather-controlled road decreased the mean speed by an average of 3.4 km/h in winter. The system proved most effective when adverse weather and road conditions were not easy to detect. The system also decreased the standard deviation of speed. Most drivers accepted lowered speed limits and found variable speed limits useful. Variable speed limit signs using fibre-optic technology were found to be more effective than electromechanical signs. However, effective signs may divert the driver's attention from adjacent fixed signing. The slippery road condition sign is recommended for careful use at critical spots, whereas a system including variable speed limits is recommended for somewhat longer road sections. The use of fibre-optic signs is recommended for weather-controlled applications.

    AB - This study investigated the effects of local and frequently updated information about adverse weather and road conditions on driver behaviour. The information was transmitted by several types of variable message signs (VMS). Two evaluations investigated the effects of VMS systems involving an individual sign or two signs; two other evaluations focused on more extensive VMS systems involving several signs, and two evaluations studied the effects of the sign technology. The slippery road condition sign and minimum headway sign decreased the mean speed of cars travelling in free-flow traffic by 1-2 km/h. The minimum headway sign also decreased the proportion of short headways. In addition, drivers' reports suggested that these variable message signs have other effects on driver behaviour, such as the refocusing of attention to seek cues on potential hazards, testing the slipperiness of the road, and more careful passing behaviour. Lowering the speed limit from 100 km/h to 80 km/h on a weather-controlled road decreased the mean speed by an average of 3.4 km/h in winter. The system proved most effective when adverse weather and road conditions were not easy to detect. The system also decreased the standard deviation of speed. Most drivers accepted lowered speed limits and found variable speed limits useful. Variable speed limit signs using fibre-optic technology were found to be more effective than electromechanical signs. However, effective signs may divert the driver's attention from adjacent fixed signing. The slippery road condition sign is recommended for careful use at critical spots, whereas a system including variable speed limits is recommended for somewhat longer road sections. The use of fibre-optic signs is recommended for weather-controlled applications.

    KW - traffic signs

    KW - speed limit

    KW - variable message signs

    KW - VMS

    KW - cold weather

    KW - driver behavior

    KW - road condition

    KW - slippery

    KW - evaluation

    KW - information systems

    KW - winter

    KW - road surface

    KW - ice

    KW - traffic safety

    M3 - Dissertation

    SN - 951-38-5871-5

    T3 - VTT Publications

    PB - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

    CY - Espoo

    ER -

    Rämä P. Effects of weather-controlled variable message signing on driver behaviour: Dissertation. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2001. 59 p.