The Effects of Fluorescent Yellow Warning Signs at Hazardous Locations

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Title: The Effects of Fluorescent Yellow Warning Signs at Hazardous Locations
Author: Krull, Kimberly A.
Advisors: Dr. Joseph E. Hummer, Chair
Dr. Michael Wogalter, Member
Dr. Nagui Rouphail, Member
Abstract: Yellow warning signs are an important and abundant type of traffic control device. Improving warning signs could be a cost-effective countermeasure at hazardous locations, especially rural locations where approximately 61% of the Nation's traffic fatalities occur. The use of fluorescent yellow sheeting in place of standard yellow sheeting provides a method to increase the conspicuity of the traffic sign while conforming to the guidelines specified by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The 3M Corporation, and later other companies, developed a long-lasting fluorescent yellow retroreflective sign. Although the properties of the fluorescent yellow sheeting indicate that the conspicuity of the signs is much higher, the increased conspicuity ultimately must prompt a change in motorist behavior for highway safety to be improved. Therefore, the purpose was this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of fluorescent yellow warning signs in improving highway safety at hazardous locations. A before and after study used surrogate measures to evaluate the safety effectiveness of replacing existing yellow warning signs (engineer or high intensity grade) with fluorescent yellow warning signs (diamond grade) at seven hazardous locations. The results of this effort indicate that fluorescent yellow warning signs increased the safety at four of the seven sites by providing a more conspicuous warning to motorists. However, since surrogate measures were used, the actual collision savings are unknown.
Date: 2000-06-29
Degree: MS
Discipline: Civil Engineering

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