Strategies to Reduce Wrong Way Movements

Crashes resulting from wrong way driving are rare events but are high profile and serious when they occur. During a six-month span around early 2006, seven people were killed in wrong way crashes in the Charlotte area. The flurry of media attention following this time period brought the topic of wrong way driving to the forefront of the public eye. More recently this fact was highlighted in the summer of 2015 when a highly publicized and horrific crash took the lives of three people on I-85 in Orange County. In addition to being high-profile, wrong way crashes also carry a high cost to society. These crashes typically result in serious injuries or fatalities, with associated costs to society ranging from $564,000 to $10 million per crash. If even a portion of these crashes can be prevented, this would represent substantial savings to the state of North Carolina. North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) developed reports in 2006 and 2012 in which the wrong way crash problem was examined. The latest report recognized that although wrong way crashes represent a small portion of the total crash picture, certain counties, such as Mecklenburg, Forsyth, and Wake, continue to experience wrong way crashes on their freeways. The report concluded that a systematic approach to design and traffic control may be successful in reducing wrong way crashes. The question at hand is, “What design or traffic control elements should be modified at interchanges associated with wrong way crashes to decrease the likelihood of these crashes?” The goal of this project is to answer that question for the highest priority interchanges on North Carolina freeways. This project will develop recommendations for geometric elements, traffic control devices, and other strategies to reduce wrong way driving at freeway ramp locations. This will be accomplished by reviewing state-of-the-practice methods for reducing wrong way driving, examining data on wrong way crashes, conducting site visits to examine the field conditions of selected interchanges which have been associated with wrong way crashes, and producing recommendations for modifications to these interchanges and other strategies to decrease the incidence of wrong way driving.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Contract to a Performing Organization has not yet been awarded.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    North Carolina Department of Transportation

    Research and Development
    1549 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27699-1549
  • Start Date: 20160801
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01610765
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 2017-12
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 19 2016 4:22PM