Evaluation of Vehicle-Mounted Attenuator Markings Using a Driving Simulator for Mobile Work Zones


Four Vehicle Mounted Attenuators (VMAs) used by the Departments of Transportation (DOTs) in mobile work zones were evaluated for the effectiveness of striping pattern and color combination using subjects in a driving simulator. Additionally, DOTs were surveyed on the VMA practice in work zones. Twenty-three subjects, male and female, participated in the driving simulator experiment in which they drove through virtual highway work zones. Lane change distance and speed reduction identification distance were used as the variables to analyze the driving behavior of subjects. The result indicated that the yellow and black inverted 'V” pattern and the orange and white vertical striped pattern are more effective than the lime green and black inverted 'V' pattern and the red and white checkerboard pattern. The finding from this objective evaluation was consist with the result from the subjective evaluation where the subjects were asked to rate several features of each VMA pattern including visibility, ability to cause drivers to move out of the closed lane, effectiveness of color combination, ability to grab attention, color contrast, and most preferred pattern. The DOT survey contacted 50 states, out of which 30 responded. The result indicated that the yellow and black inverted 'V' pattern is the most widely used as it is provided by most VMA suppliers.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Driving Simulators; Lane Changing; Operations; State Departments of Transportation; Stripping (Pavements); Traffic Speed; Travel Behavior; Truck Mounted Attenuators; Virtual Reality; Work Zones

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2009 Transportation Research Board, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2009