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Preventing Wrong-Way Driving on Freeways

Mark P. Rossow, Ph.D, PE Retired

Driving the wrong way on freeways has been a consistent traffic safety problem since the interstate system was opened in the 1950s. From 1996 to 2000 alone, over 1,700 people were killed and thousands more were injured in wrong-way crashes in the United States. The average direct economic loss from such crashes is estimated to be over ten million dollars per year. The purpose of this course is to identify 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. Factors found to be significant are alcohol impairment, age, gender, physical condition, driverís experience and knowledge, time of day, and interchange type. Vehicle type, seat belt use, lighting, roadway alignment, driver age group, first vehicle contact point, and driver condition (blood alcohol concentration level) are shown to have an impact on crash severity. Types of countermeasures such as signage, pavement markings, geometric design, and ITS vehicle detection systems are discussed. Applications to twelve specific interchanges are presented.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.