Mitigation of Lane Departure Crashes in the Pacific Northwest through Coordinated Outreach – Phase 2

PI: David Hurwitz (OSU),
Co-Investigators: Ahmed Abdel-Rahim (UI), Nathan Belz (UAF), Linda Ng Boyle (UW), Leila Hajibabai (WSU)
Dates: 12/16/2015 – 12/15/2016
Project Information
Final Technical Report

Raise the awareness of the traveling public about the risks regarding lane departure crashes through a student video/media competition to encourage safer driving practices in the Pacific Northwest region.

Approximately 60% of fatalities on our nation’s roadways are the result of lane departure (e.g., crossing of centerline or run-off-the-road) crashes. A variety of transportation engineering solutions have been proposed to mitigate the occurrence of lane departure crashes, including but not limited to: the safety edge, nighttime visibility, rumble strips, retroreflectivity, and pavement lane markings. While these strategies have shown varying degrees of promise in particular contexts, they do not immediately address all of the causal factors inherent in road users (motor vehicle and all-terrain vehicle operators), such as fatigue, operating under the influence, distraction driving, etc. There is a critical need to raise the awareness of the traveling public in the Pacific Northwest about the risks regarding lane departure crashes and how behaviors can mitigate their occurrence.

The outreach efforts being presented here will target schools and universities in the Pacific Northwest region to engage students on the importance of attentive and safe driving habits that can serve to minimize lane departures while driving. School-based initiatives have been proven to be an effective means of changing behaviors at the household level, including environmental awareness (Damerell, Howe, & Milner-Gulland, 2013), eating habits (Atkins & Atins, 2010), and other healthy lifestyle choices (Fisher, Hunt, Kann, et al., 2003). It is anticipated that by engaging high school and college students across the Pacific Northwest, a larger audience can be made aware of the risks regarding lane departure crashes and how certain behaviors can mitigate their occurrence.