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A Review Of Two Innovative Pavement Marking Patterns That Have Been Developed To Reduce Traffic Speeds And Crashes
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  • Abstract:
    Regardless of whether we consider fatal crashes recorded throughout the United States or total crashes recorded in one state, it is clear that speeding is a serious threat to the motoring public. In 1993, for example, some 53,343 drivers were involved in fatal traffic crashes in the United States. Of these 53,343 drivers, 11,019 (20.7%) were reported to have been speeding. In the same year, 716,589 drivers were involved in crashes (including fatal, injury- producing, and property-damage-only crashes) in Texas. Of these 716,589 drivers, 114,552 (15.6%) were reported to have been speeding. The reasons why drivers speed are many: their judgment is impaired by alcohol or other drugs, they are in a hurry, or they intend to maintain a speed in excess of the posted limit but below a level at which they believe they will be cited. But in addition to these reasons, some drivers speed inadvertently. That is to say, drivers sometimes fail to realize that the speeds at which they are traveling are too fast for the existing highway environment, such as intersections, traffic circles, bridges, horizontal curves, and construction zones. Further aggravating and adding to the inadvertent speeding phenomenon is the fact that drivers who have been traveling at a relatively high rate of speed for an extended time may habituate to that speed and underestimate the degree to which they are lowering their speed upon approaching an intersection, traffic circle, bridge, horizontal curve or construction zone. This report reviews the available literature on two illusionary pavement marking patterns that have been developed and fielded in the last twenty years to reduce traffic speeds and traffic crashes that result from driver inattention and habituation to high-speed driving: the converging chevron pavement marking pattern and the transverse bar pavement marking pattern.

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