About the research
Following too closely (tailgating) is a persistent problem throughout the roadway system, and its consequences can be particularly severe in work zones. In fact, rear-end collisions are the most common type of crash in work zones. Maintaining sufficient car-following gaps allows drivers enough time to react to unexpected and complex situations at work zones, and thus can reduce the rear-end collision potential. Work zones provide an opportunity to deliver messaging aimed at encouraging safer driving behavior at moments when that information is highly relevant.
This project will evaluate the effectiveness of roadside messaging techniques on increasing vehicle spacing (headway) in work zones.Through a review of the state-of-the-art and the state-of-the-practice, measures and techniques for encouraging drivers to maintain proper spacing will be summarized. Messaging techniques that encourage safe following distances in work zones will be developed and the effectiveness of these messages will be evaluated using vehicle speed and car-following (headway) data collected from sensors deployed at work zones.