Evaluation of Road Weather Messages on DMS Based on Roadside Pavement Sensors

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  11/23/2021


Do real-time displays of winter road conditions actually impact driver behavior? While regular road maintenance, snowplowing and a well-trained workforce are crucial for winter road safety, driver behavior is the last defense against crashes and many other traffic hazards. Researchers found that speeds can, in fact, decrease in some cases as a result of displayed road condition warnings. They used road friction sensors that detected adverse road conditions and traffic sensors before and after dynamic message signs (DMS) displaying road condition warnings. The traffic sensor data identified speed changes and car following distances. Many factors, however, impact DMS effectiveness. Urban or rural roads, routine maintenance practices on roads and the severity of storm events impact how effective the warnings are in slowing drivers down. MnDOT can use information from this project to strategically and cost-effectively place DMS across the state.

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