While wrong-way driving crashes represent a small fraction of all crashes recorded on North Carolina’s controlled access highways, their almost constant annual incident rate, and often fatal consequences makes the prevention of this type of crash a high priority for the transportation industry. However, due to the low incident frequency, small amount of evidence from occurrences, and almost nonexistent list of witnesses, the determination of factors that lead to such crashes has proven to be difficult.
Research efforts have begun in North Carolina to help the transportation industry better understand the causes behind this type of incident; however, there is still a need to compile and analyze a larger amount of data that could provide a better understanding of the characteristics of interchange designs that lead towards vehicles entering these types of facilities in the wrong direction. There is also still a need to assess the effectiveness of implementing traffic control and intelligent transportation system (ITS) devices designed and installed for the purpose of alerting wrong-way drivers and notifying law enforcement. This project aims to provide an assessment of the wrong way traffic control and ITS deployment as well as give guidance to NCDOT on additional design and operational strategies to reduce wrong way driving incidents on freeways.