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Investigation of contributing factors regarding wrong-way driving on freeways.
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Investigation of contributing factors regarding wrong-way driving on freeways.
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    In Illinois, there were 217 wrong-way crashes on freeways from 2004 to 2009, resulting in 44 killed and

    248 injured. This research project sought to determine the contributing factors to wrong-way crashes on

    freeways and to develop promising, cost-conscious countermeasures to reduce these driving errors and their

    related crashes. A thorough literature review was conducted to summarize the best practices on design, safety,

    and operational issues related to wrong-way driving on freeways by different states in the United States and

    abroad. Six-year crash data from the Illinois Department of Transportation were then collected for identifying

    wrong-way crashes. Out of 632 possible wrong-way crashes identified from the crash database, the 217 actual

    wrong-way crashes were verified by reviewing hard copies of those crash reports. General statistical

    characteristics of wrong-way crashes were analyzed, and the findings suggested that a large proportion of

    wrong-way crashes occurred during the weekend from 12 midnight to 5 a.m. Approximately 60% of wrong-way

    drivers were DUI drivers. Of those, more than 50% were confirmed to be impaired by alcohol, 5% were impaired

    by drugs, and more than 3% had been drinking. Causal tables, Haddon matrices, and significance tests were

    used to identify factors that contribute to wrong-way crashes on Illinois freeways. Alcohol impairment, age,

    gender, physical condition, driver’s experience and knowledge, time of day, interchange type, and urban and

    rural areas were found to be significant factors. A new method was developed to rank the high-frequency crash

    locations based on the number of recorded or estimated wrong-way freeway entries. Twelve interchanges were

    identified for field reviews. Site-specific and general countermeasures were identified for future implementation.

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