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Research Report 607 Drivers’ understanding of temporary and permanent slippery road signage

Published: | Audiences: General, Road traffic engineers & consultants

This project aimed to assist the development of understandable, cost-effective static signage to warn drivers of the potential for lower skid resistance in areas renowned for periodic slippery conditions.

The research began with a literature review in which the features influencing road signage effectiveness, in terms of both conspicuity and comprehension, were identified. Based on these findings, alternative signage designs were developed and investigated in relation to the current SRS signage through a public focus group followed by an expert focus group.

The outcomes of this process led to the selection of two alternative supplementary plates to be used with the main plate. These signs were constructed to the temporary signage design specifications and compared to the current temporary SRS signage (which consists of a main plate only) in an on-road trial.

Metrocounters measured the free vehicle speed associated with each of the signs at three different curves in both wet and dry conditions. In dry conditions the signs made no practical difference to vehicle speed; however, in wet conditions the presence of a sign resulted in both a significant and practical reduction in free vehicle speed in all three curves.

Planned comparisons revealed the sign that led to the greatest reduction in free vehicle speed in the wet differed at each of the curves.

Keywords: comprehension, design, friction, SCRIM, signage, slippery road surface (SRS)

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: January 2017
  • Reference: 607
  • ISBN/ISSN: ISBN 978-1-98-851207-5 (electronic) | ISSN 1173-3764 (electronic)