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TEO / Divisions / TSMO / Management and Deployments / Wrong-Way Driving
FDOT’s Wrong-Way Driving (WWD) Initiative
Wrong-way driving (WWD) crashes occur randomly and less frequently than other crash types, however, they often involve multiple vehicles, resulting in multiple fatalities and/or serious injuries. FDOT has installed the required DO NOT ENTER and WRONG WAY signs and pavement markings (wrong-way arrow, etc.) per the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), as well as the higher Signing and Pavement Marking Standards per FDM Section 230.4 and Roadway Design Bulletin 15-08/Traffic Operations Bulletin 03-15. FDOT has also been exploring various WWD countermeasure systems for warning wrong-way drivers, verification of the wrong-way vehicles and sending alerts to Regional Transportation Management Center (RTMC)/ Traffic Management Center (TMC) upon detection of wrong-way vehicles.
FDOT conducted a statewide study and identified the off-ramps which could be associated with WWD crashes. The 1,447 off-ramps (1,282 service off-ramps and 165 system-to-system off-ramps) on the State Highway System were analyzed. Based on a risk analysis, 520 off-ramps were found to occur in the WWD hotspots. FDOT evaluated several countermeasures and found the LED highlighted WRONG WAY signs to be one of the most effective countermeasures to warn a wrong-way entering motorist, notify other motorists and send alerts to RTMC/TMC. FDOT intends to expedite the deployment of this advanced WWD countermeasure at the 520 off-ramps per Traffic Engineering and Operations Bulletin 19-03.
FDOT conducted a detailed statewide study of WWD crashes in Florida focusing on analyzing trends and contributing factors associated with WWD incidents on limited access facilities which also proposed several countermeasures for deployment. [Link]
FDOT conducted a driving simulator study of the effectiveness of countermeasures to prevent wrong-way crashes. The research findings showed the problematic interchanges would likely benefit from an increase in the number and diversity of countermeasures to prevent wrong-way crashes. [Link]
The study findings showed detection triggered Red-RRFB and LED Highlighted “WRONG WAY” signs with alert sending capability are two of the most effective countermeasures. [Link]
FDOT conducted a study with CUTR of USF to detect wrong-way vehicles using video detection method applicable for both on mainlines and off-ramps and send the detection alerts to a TMC/RTMC. [Link]
Another research conducted by FDOT focused on addressing the factors that were considered to affect the occurrence of WWD incidents: impaired drivers, drivers aged 65 years and older, and tourists. Findings from this study provide guidance to proactively deploy WWD countermeasures at all the off-ramps in Florida. [Link]
While using spike strips on off-ramps may seem like a simple solution to stop wrong-way drivers by flattening tires, it may not always work as intended. The spike strips may also produce undesired consequences to drivers traveling in the correct direction. Below are some potential reasons why spikes should not be used at freeway off-ramps:
Other states are also not considering installing spikes on their off-ramps for the above-mentioned reasons. Some news links are provided below.
Ohio: 10 reasons why spike strips aren’t used to stop wrong-way drivers
Arizona: Will spike strips stop wrong-way drivers? ADOT responds to suggestions
Pennsylvania: Why Spikes Aren’t The Answer to Stopping Wrong-Way Drivers
Florida Department of Transportation
Safety, Mobility, Reliability