Current UMTC Research Projects
Evaluating of the Effect of Advance Yield Markings and Symbolic Signs on Vehicle-Pedestrian Conflicts at Marked Mid-block Crosswalks Across Multilane Roads

Dr. Donald L. Fisher, Principal Investigator
Professor and Department Head, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Dr. John Collura, Co-Principal Investigator
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Sponsor: Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Abstract:
The goal of this research is to study the effect of advance yield markings and signs on both drivers' and pedestrians' behavior at pedestrian crosswalks, especially in those multi-threat situations where the driver’s or pedestrian's view of critical information is obstructed by one or more vehicles, on improving pedestrian safety. It is exactly this situation which is hypothesized to create the most danger for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Advance yield markings and their associated signs have proven useful in studies undertaken in and around Halifax, Nova Scotia, at a number of different treatment locations. However, there are several limitations of these studies that will be addressed by the objectives of this study. Experiments conducted in the simulator and in the field that look at these limitations will accomplish the goal of the research project. Second, previous field studies did not address the issue of vehicle-vehicle conflicts which can occur at mid-block crosswalks which are adjacent to driveways or side streets. Again, the field is not a safe place to study such potential crashes. The driving simulator can be used effectively in this context to do such, especially when heavy cognitive demands unrelated to the driving task (e.g., cell phone conversations) are placed on the driver.

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