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A Study of Wrong-Way Driving Crashes in Alabama

A research team led by Dr. Hugo Zhou from the Highway Research Center (HRC) recently completed a research project funded by the Office of Safety Operations of the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to develop a comprehensive plan to mitigate WWD crashes and activities on freeways and multilane divided highways in Alabama. This project includes two parts: (1) WWD crashes on freeways; and (2) WWD crashes on divided highways. The results of this study identified the significant contributing factors to WWD crashes based on crash data analysis and general issues through extensive field reviews in terms of signage, pavement markings, and geometric design elements. The general countermeasures were recommended to be implemented in two phases. Phase one focuses on short-term, low-cost countermeasures, such as regular maintenance and inspection of the existing signage and pavement markings. Phase two is a long-term, systematic approach on improving geometric design elements and implementing advanced technologies. Currently, the HRC researchers are developing training materials and implementing some low-cost countermeasures for mitigating wrong-way driving activities for ALDOT.