Golias, Mihalis; Sabyasachee Mishra; and Huan Ngo
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Crashes due to wrong-way driving can occur when a vehicle enters an exit ramp in the opposite direction from the legal traffic flow and continues onto the highway. Researchers in Tennessee evaluated three commercially available Wrong-Way Driving Prevention Systems (WWPS), after conducting a literature and crash data review, and surveying vendors in December 2019. Typically, countermeasures triggered by WWPS include a flashing light-emitting diode (LED) equipped wrong-way sign which alerts the driver entering the wrong direction of traffic, followed by an “alert to authority” which sends a text message or email via accompanying software to the Traffic Management Center. Testing was first performed using each of three WWPS products on a closed environment without external traffic. Then, during the first half of 2021, the WWPS were installed for one month of field testing, using a different Nashville off-ramp for each system. The researchers evaluated the performance of each system based on five criteria:

  • Accuracy – rate at which the WWPS correctly determines the type of event, with Missed Detection Rate performance weighted at twice the False Detection Rate performance
  • Responsiveness – how quickly the WWPS reacts to a wrong-way driver event, including Flashing Sign Delay and Authority Alert Delay
  • Live Tracking – how well the WWPS performs over an extended period of time
  • Cost – equivalent annual cost based on life cycle cost analysis
  • Other factors - ease of installation, software features and product deployment history (how long product has been available and extent of deployment across the country)
Other Reference Number
Report No. RES2020-02
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Prepared by University of Memphis for Tennessee DOT
Result Type
Investigation on Wrong Way Driving Prevention Systems
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