Driving Simulator Study of Merge Signs

Many work zones require lane closures, and road users need to be notified of these closures through appropriate upstream signage. A literature review prepared for this study found several previous investigations indicating insufficient comprehension of the U.S. standard lane closure sign (designated in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways [MUTCD] as W4-2) and similar signs used internationally. The W4-2 sign is also unsuitable for signing interior lane closures on roadways with three or more lanes. Driver comprehension of several alternative sign faces was tested through a survey using the ANSI Z535.3 process and was followed by a driving simulator study. The driver comprehension survey suggests that an Upward Drop Arrow design is a promising alternative to the existing W4-2 sign for sites where two upstream lanes are reduced to one lane in the work zone. In addition, one-arrow-per-lane signs developed as Americanized versions of the Vienna Convention G12a sign template are a promising option for interior lane closures on multi-lane roadway segments. A driving simulator study compared the W4-2, a MERGE text sign with a horizontal arrow, and an Americanized version of the Vienna Convention G12a sign. In terms of sign comprehension, the W4-2 was the least understood of the three signs. The W4-2 resulted in more late merge maneuvers than the other two signs. Field evaluation of the Upward Drop Arrow and Americanized G12a signs is recommended as a follow-up to this study.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $ $111,720.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Midwest Transportation Center

    Iowa State University
    2711 S Loop Drive, Suite 4700
    Ames, IA  United States  50010-8664

    Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative

    ,   United States 

    University of Missouri, Columbia

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Columbia, MO  United States  65211
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Missouri, Columbia

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Columbia, MO  United States  65211
  • Principal Investigators:

    Edara, Praveen

  • Start Date: 20150901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20170808
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01579693
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Midwest Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC37
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Oct 27 2015 11:29AM