Exploration of the SHRP2 Naturalistic Driving Study Data to Identify Factors Related to the Selection of Freeway Ramp Design Speed

This project is primarily focused on identifying geometric design variables associated with an Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) driver’s chosen speed on a freeway ramp. However, there are applications for the human factors/safety side of the team to consider driver behaviors such as pedal position, steering wheel position, or head position in the context of actual speed and design speed to see if there are actions drivers are likely to take when a vehicle is traveling at a speed that is substantially different from the design speed. A further step could look at these items in relation to a documented crash or event. This research would explore the Strategic Highway Research Project 2 (SHRP2) NDS database for the potential to identify freeway entrance and exit ramps and drivers’ behavior while traveling those ramps. This is in advance of a future task on National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 15-56, which is tasked with reviewing current practices for selecting design speed on freeway ramps and, if beneficial, recommending changes to those practices. The NCHRP project will consider whether our current practices produce ramp design speeds that are consistent with the operating speeds that drivers actually choose, and if not, what changes should be made. On NCHRP 15-56 we will need to identify a selection of freeway ramps as possible study sites at which to collect data. The project will also need to collect speed data (and probably lane position data, among other variables) on those ramps to compare actual speeds with the design elements of the ramp that influence the selection of a design speed. By exploring the features of the NDS dataset, the project can a) consider a new tool for study site selection based on roadway characteristics and b) identify a potential new source of data that can either serve as a basis for analysis or serve as a comparison or validation of field data that the project will collect through other methods.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • 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
  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Brewer, Marcus

    Barkwell, Shannon

  • Start Date: 20160301
  • Expected Completion Date: 20160831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01598801
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (ATLAS Center)
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC54
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: May 3 2016 3:35PM