Driving Simulator Study of Merge Signs

Project status

In progress

Start date: 09/05/15
End date: 08/31/17


Principal investigator:

About the research

Signing is crucial to communicate messages to drivers. Especially in work zones, signing plays a vital role because of changes in roadway configurations, geometry, and driving conditions. There is a perception amongst the work-zone engineering community that the US Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) standard signage for lane drops/merges in work zones is not well understood by the traveling public. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate alternative signing for work-zone lane drops/merges.

The objectives of this study are to evaluate driver comprehension of alternative work zone lane drop signing through a driver survey and to compare driver behavior in work zones with MUTCD signing and alternative signing using a driving simulator study.

This project involves conducting driving simulator experiments to study driver behavior toward various merge sign configurations in work zones. The subjects will be asked to drive through multiple work zones, which contain both standard MUTCD signage and the alternative signage. Some possible quantitative performance measures include the merge distance to the taper, speed, speed variance, and percentage occupancy of the closed lane at different distances upstream of the taper.



  • Midwest Transportation Center
  • Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative
  • University of Missouri - Columbia