Evaluation of Effectiveness of Speed Reduction Markings on Driving Speed in Highway Tunnel Entrance and Exit Areas
Tunnels are critical areas for highway safety because the severity of crashes in tunnels tends to be more serious. Controlling vehicle speed is regarded as a feasible measure to reduce the accident rate in the tunnel entrance and exit areas. This paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of three types of speed reduction markings (SRMs) in tunnel entrance and exit zones by conducting a driving simulation experiment. For this study, 25 drivers completed the driving tasks in the day and night scenarios. The vehicle speed and acceleration data were collected for analysing and the relative speed contrast, time mean speed and acceleration were adopted as indices to evaluate the effectiveness of SRMs. The repeated ANOVA test results revealed that SRMs have a significant effect in reducing vehicle speed, especially in the exit zone. Colour Anti-skid Markings (CASMs) produced a more obvious deceleration in the entrance zone. In the entrance zone, a similar downward trend was performed in the situation of NSRMs and SRMs, but a lower speed occurred in case of SRMs. Besides, CASMs work better and cause an obvious gap of 10 km/h in daytime and 5 km/h at night compared to the speed without SRMs. In the exit zone, the present study supports the conclusion that the drivers are prone to accelerate. Our results showed that the drivers accelerated in case of NSRMs, while they slowed down in case of SRMs. Thus, SRMs are necessarily implemented in the highway tunnel entrance and exit zones. Our study also indicates that though CASMs result in lower speed at night, the Transverse Speed Reduction Markings
(TSRMs) have a better performance than CASMs in daytime. The investigation provides essential information for developing a new marking design criterion and intelligent driver support systems in the highway tunnel zones.
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