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Improving driver decisions and performance in high-speed, multilane, complex conditions.
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  • Abstract:
    In an effort to reduce fatalities resulting from traffic collisions, California’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan identified

    16 Challenge Areas under the State Highway Safety Plan. Improper driving decisions about the right of way and

    turning became the focus of Challenge Area 5 (CA-5). To better address the needs in this area, Caltrans staff

    proposed a research project that considers the following priorities outlined in the plan:

    5.1 Develop and encourage implementation of a systematic approach to the identification and improvement of

    existing and potential “high-crash concentration locations” involving improper driver decisions about rights

    of way and turning.

    5.4 Explore and implement approved technologies being used by other states and countries to reduce severe

    traffic collisions associated with turning and lane changing on high-speed, multilane facilities.

    5.5 Expand the use of existing technology-based tools and strategies that have been demonstrated to correct or

    minimize the traffic operating conditions which are a primary cause of collisions related to abrupt lane

    changing in the vicinity of freeway merge and diverge points.

    5.7 Support new and ongoing research and development projects associated with in-vehicle communication

    and information technologies to help detect and warn drivers of potential collision with other vehicles in

    the adjacent lane during lane change maneuvers.

    In support of the proposed research project, this Preliminary Investigation focused on identifying strategies and

    technologies to reduce crashes and fatalities by improving the performance/decision making of drivers who are

    confronted with complex infrastructure and/or operating conditions. To carry out this investigation, we summarized

    completed domestic and international research and research in progress. We also surveyed transportation agencies to

    identify best practices for conducting crash investigations using a multidisciplinary team and contacted

    transportation agencies directly to learn more about the countermeasures used to improve safety on complex


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