When drivers are approaching a signalized intersection at the onset of yellow signal, they may hesitate to decide whether to stop or cross the intersection due to the dilemma zone. As defined in the Traffic Engineering Handbook [Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). (1999). Traffic engineering handbook, Washington, DC: Institute of Transportation Engineers], the dilemma zone for an intersection is a specific road segment, prior to the intersection in which a vehicle approaching the intersection during the yellow phase can neither safely clear the intersection, nor stop comfortably at the stop line. In this study, a pavement marking countermeasure is proposed to reduce the dilemma zone and improve traffic safety at signalized intersections. A pavement marking with word message 'Signal Ahead' that is placed on the pavement upstream of a signalized intersection may have a potential to assist drivers in stop/go decisions and improve driver performance during the signal change. This paper presents a simulator-based study that was designed to test the impact of the pavement marking countermeasure on driving behaviors, including driver's stop/go decision, red-light running violation, brake response time, and deceleration rate of the stopping vehicle. The experiment results indicated that the marking had positive effects on drivers' behaviors at signalized intersections. It was found that the marking can reduce the probabilities of both conservative-stop and risky-go decisions, contribute to a lower red-light running rate, and result in a lower deceleration rate for stopping drivers at higher speed limit intersections. These findings suggest that the marking countermeasure may have a potential to reduce the probabilities of both rear-end and angle crashes. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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