Truck Animation


The following completed and on-going research projects are listed in approximate chronological order.

Consultant and Co-author:  Canadian Guide to Applied Human Factors in Road Safety Engineering for the Transportation Association of Canada, under contract to Intus Road Safety Engineering, Inc.  Active project, 2011.

The Canadian Guide to Applied Human Factors in Road Safety Engineering is a highway agency practitioner’s guide to applied safety treatments which are based on human factors principles.  Mr. Hanscom is serving as a subject matter expert and consultant.  His role is to co-author key sections of the published guide. 

Co-author:  Traffic Control Devices Handbook published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

The Traffic Control Devices Handbook is a user’s supplement to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).  Mr. Hanscom, along with Dr. Robert Dewar are authoring the Human Factors chapter.  Active project, 2011. 

Principal Investigator:  Subcontract to Current and Emerging Markings, Signage and Application Criteria for Multi-lane Roundabouts, conducted by Ourston Roundabouts of Canada for the Transportation Association of Canada.  Project completed in 2010.

Mr. Hanscom designed and conducted a comprehension study of driver understanding of various Canadian roundabout sign treatments.  His role involved developing the study protocol, conducting the initial data collection, training Ourston staff to complete data collection, and conducting the data analysis. 

Consultant:  Working Group Member for development of the Federal Highway Administration’s Human Factors Guidelines (HFG) for Road Systems.  Project activity conducted by Battelle Systems of Seattle, Washington. Active project

The purpose of the HFG is to provide the best factual information and insight on road users’ characteristics to facilitate safe roadway design and operational decisions.  Mr. Hanscom is serving as a subject matter expert and consultant to help the project team produce guidelines that will be as informative and easy to use as possible for the highway engineering community. 

Principal Investigator:  Laboratory Testing of Proposed Roundabout Traffic Control Device Options in the 2009 MUTCD; National Research Council, National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 20-07 (231) under contract to the Transportation Research Corporation; Project completed 2008.

This research study evaluated various signing and pavement marking concepts for inclusion into the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for application at roundabouts.    Devices were tested to determine their ability to convey sufficient navigational (i.e., lane placement and directional) information to enable safe roundabout maneuvers within the limited available driver viewing time.  Target roundabout treatments were evaluated in terms of their elicited lab subject interpretations and decision times.  The data analysis assessed the suitability of these responses to result in safe paths at roundabouts.  These device treatments will be tested in laboratory-simulated visual contexts in which driver decisions are required.   Measures of effectiveness included: (1) driver comprehension of candidate TCD treatments, (2) capability of the tested treatments to convey their intended message, and (3) the ability of treatments to be recognized at appropriate advance distances. 

Principal Investigator:  Development of HOV Exit Signing for Maryland Interstate Interchanges; Project undertaken at request of Maryland State Highway Administration, March 2007

Mr. Hanscom investigated HOV lane exit signing and pavement markings at selected interchanges.  This study recommended appropriate treatments conforming to the national Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and consistent with additional treatment-application guidelines developed by Mr. Hanscom.

Principal Investigator:  Safety Assessment and Accident Countermeasure Development at Intersection on High-Speed Urban Arterial Project conducted for the Maryland State Highway Administration, July 2007

At the request of the Maryland State Highway Administration, Mr. Hanscom developed speed-calming measures at a high-speed arterial approach to an intersection characterized by a high incidence of left-turn movements.  A human-factors based speed-calming technique was required, due to driver visual factors and the high design speed of the arterial approach.  In addition, left-turn safety measures, comprising traffic islands and a refuge area, were applied at the intersection. 

Principal Investigator:  Horizontal Curves Safety on Roads: Technical Support to the Federal Highway Administration office of Safety under Contract DTFH61-05-D-00024Subcontract to BMI-SG.  Project initiated 2005; Activity Completed in February 2007.
This project produced a synthesis report of various low-cost measures that state and local agencies are using to improve the safety of horizontal curves, the primary application of which is two-lane roads.  Low-cost measures were identified with the potential for reducing collisions on horizontal curves, e.g., signs, delineators, pavement markings, and rumble strips.  The synthesis is practice oriented, addressing topics so as how the devices used, installed, and maintained.  Other relevant information includes cost information, illustrations, engineering drawings and photographs, and specifications. 

Consultant:  Guidelines for Selection of Speed Reduction Treatments at High-Speed Intersections, NCHRP Project 3-74, Under contract to Kittleson Associates.  Study completed in 2004.

This project identifies types and characteristics of intersections where speed-related accidents are a factor.  Specific treatments that show the most promise to reduce vehicle operating speeds at approaches to intersections are then selected.  The final step is to conduct field observation or simulator testing to evaluate the treatments.  Mr. Hanscom’s role is to assist in the human factors aspects of the study

Consultant:  Develop of Comprehensive Human Factors Guidelines for Road Systems, NCHRP Project 17-18(8) under contract to Westat Systems, Rockville, Maryland.  Activity completed in 2002.

This effort is the first in a series of projects over a long-term (e.g., four-year) period to development of comprehensive Human Factors Guidelines for Road Systems to (1) identify the principal guidelines users and their needs, (2) define the technical content of the guidelines, (3) recommend mechanisms for distribution of the guidelines, (4) recommend how technical materials can be initially prepared and integrated into the guidelines and how expanded and updated materials can be added at later dates, (5) recommend a regular process to check the usability of the guidelines, and (6) recommend a plan for the development and adoption of the guidelines.  Objectives of the current project are to (1) develop a detailed plan for the work required to produce the first edition of the Human Factors Guidelines (HFG) for Road Systems and (2) develop the introduction and one other HFG chapter.  Mr. Hanscom assisted in all phases of this effort.

Principal Investigator: National Research Safety Agenda Support: Assessment of Coordinated Safety Approach,  NCHRP Project 17-18(9) under contract to the Transportation Research Corporation, Markham, Virginia.  Activity completed in 2002.

A National Safety Research Agenda, developed by AASHTO and the National Research Council, is designed to produce a significant reduction in highway deaths, injuries and crashes.  A plan has been developed to identify the most promising short, mid and long-term research, development and implementation activities that result in the targeted increase in safety.  Mr. Hanscom’s developed five research-needs white papers and assisted in the development of national workshop.  The goal of the workshop was to develop a process coordinate future highway safety research.  Mr. Hanscom’s current activity is to support the implementation of the national coordinated research process.
Principal Investigator:  Field Evaluation of the Collision Countermeasure System (CCS) in Prince William County, Virginia. Continuation of work initiated under Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-94-C-00131.  Under contract to Transportation Research Corporation; Virginia Department of Transportation.  Activity completed in December 2000.

Mr. Hanscom conducted a field evaluation of an automated vehicle-detection and changeable-message sign system designed to warn major-road drivers of approaching minor-road vehicles.  TRC designed the study based on measures of accident potential, i.e., time-to-collision and vehicle conflict occurrences.  TRC staff is continuing data collection and analysis.  The effort included a benefit-cost study, which indicated that the tested device was cost-effective.

Consultant:  Determine Causes of Driver Maneuver Errors, Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-96-C-00015.  Conducted by COMSIS Incorporated, Silver Spring, Maryland.  Study completed in 1998.

The objectives of this study are: (1) to identify and classify environmental and vehicular cues which drivers use to initiate maneuvers and assess how individual differences in driver perception of their own driving abilities effect their response to those cues, (2) determine driver ratings of their driving abilities and driving performance, and (3) develop driver decision-making parameters that can be incorporated into current FHWA modeling efforts.  Mr. Hanscom's role was to assist in the literature review and data collection activities.

Subcontractor:  Delineation of Hazards for Older Drivers  Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-92-C-00043   Conducted by COMSIS Incorporated, Silver Spring, Maryland.  Activity completed May, 1996.

This project developed and tested a number of traffic control devices designed to improve driving safety for older drivers.  TRC’s consulting role was to conduct a benefit-cost analysis of object markers.

Subcontractor:  Human Factors Study of Traffic Control in Highway Construction and Maintenance Zones.  FHWA Contract Number DTFH61-95-C-00064, conducted by Performance, Safety, and Health Associates, State College, Pa. Consulting activity completed in 1996.

The purpose of this project was to identify human factors deficiencies with existing work zone traffic controls and to develop traffic control device remedies.  The product of this research will be guidelines to be incorporated into the national Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. 

Subcontractor:  Determine Causes of Driver Maneuver Errors  Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-96-C-00015.  Conducted by COMSIS Incorporated, Silver Spring, Maryland.  Study completed in 1995.

The objectives of this study are: (1) to identify and classify environmental and vehicular cues which drivers use to initiate maneuvers and assess how individual differences in driver perception of their own driving abilities effect their response to those cues, (2) determine driver ratings of their driving abilities and driving performance, and (3) develop driver decision-making parameters that can be incorporated into current FHWA modeling efforts.  TRC’s role is to assist in the literature review and data collection activities.

Subcontractor:  Guide Sign Design at Vail, Colorado Roundabout Interchange.  Under contract to Leif Ourston and Associates, Santa Barbara, California.  Project completed July, 1995.

TRC’s role in the development of roundabout interchanges at Vail, Colorado was to design the guide signs in accordance with accepted practice, with special consideration to the unique driver task imposed by a predominantly U.S. tourist driver sample encountering a European interchange design.

Prime Contractor:  Developing Measures of Effectiveness for Truck Weight Enforcement Activities  (National Research Council, National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 20-34). Project completed in 1996. 

The objective of this project was to develop and validate measures of effectiveness (M.O.E.s) for truck weight enforcement programs.  This five-state, nation-wide study involves assessing data collection capabilities of state highway agencies for their suitability for M.O.E. application.  The product of this research is a software package comprising guidelines for states to apply in determining the effectiveness of their truck weight enforcement activities.

Prime Contractor:  Full-scale Vehicle Crash Testing of Robotic STOP/SLOW Paddle Support for Use in Highway Work Zones.  Activity completed in August, 1993 for Quintech Electronics and Communications, Inc., Indiana, Pennsylvania.

This project involved full-scale vehicle crash testing of a remotely controlled robotic support stand for highway work zone STOP/SLOW paddle.  The intent of this device is to reduce accident exposure for flag personnel.  Testing was conducted in accordance with NCHRP Project 22-2, Recommend­ed Proce­dures for the Safety Perfor­mance Evaluation of Highway Features.  The objective of the crash test was to determine: (1) whether the tested device would dam­age an errant vehicle intruding into the work zone and strik­ing the device, and (2) whether the device or fragments therefrom would injure a highway construc­tion zone worker in a crash situation.

Consultant:  Traffic Control Videotape Development for the International Road Federation, conducted by Roy Jorgensen Associates, Inc., Buckeystown, Maryland. Completed in 1994

This project involved the preparation of ten educational videotapes in the areas of traffic control signs, markings, islands, and highway work zone safety.  The purpose of the videotape is to educate engineers around the world regarding the state-of-the-art in selected traffic control and safety techniques.  TRC’s consulting role was to prepare the technical basis for script preparation and to provide on-site technical support during shooting.

Subcontractor:  Human Factors Project Administrative and Technical Support to the Federal Highway Administration  (Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-91-C-00099)  Study completed September, 1992; under contract to Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia

This project provides personnel required to conduct various technical activity at the Federal Highway Administration, including operation of their human factors laboratories and preparation of Requests For Proposals.  TRC provided expertise in highway engineering for a variety of technical activity, including the evaluation of contractor research proposals.

Consultant:  Maintenance Worker Training and Implementation Products  (National Research Council, Strategic Highway Research Program, Contract H-110)  Activity completed in 1991; conducted by Roy Jorgensen Associates, Inc., Buckeystown, Maryland

This project produced communications and training products to facilitate implementation of innovative work  zone warning devices developed in previous Strategic Highway Research Program developmental efforts.  TRC provided consultation in the preparation of training videotapes advising state highway agencies on the proper application of newly developed work zone devices.

Subcontractor:  Retroreflective Highway Sign Inspection System  (Howard County, Maryland.  Contract CA-90-47)  Study completed 1991; conducted by Kidde Consultants, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland.

This study examined the state-of-the-art in retroreflective sign luminance measurement and automated sign inventory techniques.  Current techniques are then applied to develop and test a highway sign inventory system for implementation by Howard County, Maryland.

Subcontractor:  Maintenance Work Zone Safety Devices Development and Evaluation  (National Research Council, Strategic Highway Research Program, Contract H-109)  Study completed in 1993; conducted by Ensco, Inc., Springfield, Virginia.

This study evaluates and tests a variety of innovative traffic control devices designed to protect workers in highway maintenance/construction zones.  Tested device concepts include: barrier design, vehicle encroachment alerting devices, rumble strips, delineation, vehicle rear-end lighting devices, signs, and flagging techniques.  TRC’s role was to provide input to the study design and to conduct test tract and open field evaluative studies of selected devices.

Subcontractor:  Analysis of Speed and Other Unsafe Driving Acts (National Traffic Safety Administration, Contract Number NRD-010-9-07306, 1989). Study completed in 1990.

This study examined the association between speed and other specific vehicle behaviors leading to fatal and serious crashes.  The objective was to identify speed enforcement strategies to eliminate other behaviors contributing to crashes.  TRC’s role was to provide input to the overall safety study design and to design a multi-state field observational study.

Prime Contractor:  Assessment of Applied Speed Monitoring Procedures (California Department of Transportation Contract 51H416).  Completed in 1989. 

This study addressed the representativeness of data obtained using state speed monitoring procedures.  Specific measurement issues which were addressed included: speed variation within homogeneous roadway monitoring sections, monitoring equipment reliability, and site selection procedures.

Subcontractor:  Truck Accidents at Freeway-to-freeway Connectors (Sponsored by the California State Department of Transportation). Study completed in 1990; conducted by the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

TRC completed a subcontract effort to examine truck accident causation on major connector ramps. Recommen­dations were developed for (1) revising geometrics, (2) appropriate warning signs, (3) and revised design standards.  TRC staff provided input to the accident typology study, supervised collection of truck speed/trajectory data at selected connectors in the Los Angeles area, and provided input to the final report.

Subcontractor:  Fundamental Studies of Speed Zoning and Control (Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-85-C-00136).  Study completed 1991; conducted by Martin Parker and As­sociates, Wayne, Michigan.

TRC participated via subcontract to develop the questionnaire and to supervise a portion of the speed data collection effort.  This nationwide study examined motorist response to posted speed limit changes in 23 states.  In addition, a driver questionnaire was developed and pre-tested to determine driver attitudes regarding speed limit compliance.

Prime Contractor:  Effectiveness of Truck or Roadway Lane Restriction (Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-85-C-00082).  Completed in 1989.

Both operational and accident safety effects of restrict­ing trucks from designated roadway lanes were examined in this five-state study.  Before-after operational effects of lane restrictions were determined for three sites; traffic flow-related M.O.E.s were truck compliance to the restriction, the proportion of trucks impeding other traffic, and speed/density characteristics of other vehicles impeded by trucks.  New lane restrictions were implemented in the Chicago, Illinois, and Madison, Wisconsin, sites in cooperation with this study.  Findings indicated benefits of the implemented truck lane restrictions included compliance with the restriction signing and less traffic congestion associated with truck presence.

Consultant:   The Operation of Larger Trucks on Roads and Streets with Restrictive Geometry (Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-84-C-00043).  Conducted by Goodell-Grivas, Inc., Southfield, MI.

TRC provided consultation to assist in the selection of study sites, designation of data collection techniques, analysis of results, and preparation of the final report.  This field study examined the operation of specific truck characteristics allowed by the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 under specific urban and rural roadway conditions.

Prime Contractor:  Service Vehicle Lighting and Traffic Control Systems for Short-term and Moving Work Zones (National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 17-6A).  Completed in 1988.

This study consisted of laboratory, closed field, and highway field studies to develop traffic control systems which are most effective for certain types of highway maintenance activities.  Project activity involved analysis of driver information requirements, laboratory determination of traffic control device characteristics to best meet those require­ments, and device testing in controlled test-track and actual highway settings to determine best performing devices.  The product of this project was a set of traffic control guidelines designating recommended device practices under appropriate operational conditions.

Prime Contractor:  Effect of the 65-mph Speed Limit (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Project 7049),  Completed in 1987.

This study consisted of a multi-state speed data collection to examine effect of increased speed limit.  This activity involved establishing data collection equipment reliability.

Subcontractor:  Survey of Heavy Truck Conspicuity Enhancements (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Contract DTNH22-84-R-07080).  Conducted by The Allen Corporation of America, Alexandria, VA  Completed in 1986.

TRC provided consultation to develop field survey procedures and to supervise a pre-test of the protocol.  This field study examined conspicuity-related attributes of truck trailers as an accident-prevention countermeasure.  In preparation for NHSTA's recommendation for federal legislation requiring reflective rear trailer enhancements (e.g., reflectorized material strips), a survey was conducted of trucks under day and night operating conditions in various east coast locations.

Prime Contractor:   Field Test of the Grade Severity Rating System (Federal Highway Administration, Contract DTFH61-82-C-00093, 1982).  Completed in 1985.

This field study tested the effectiveness of weight-specific signing (WSS) to elicit speed reductions of heavy trucks on long downgrades.  A secondary M.O.E. was incidence of smoking brakes.  A five-state study, conducted at control and test sites, demonstrated WSS effectiveness at steep downgrades (e.g., 6 percent for 5 miles).  Recommendations for state application of weight-specific signing also considered favorable liability implications associated with its use.

Consultant:  Inexpensive Countermeasures at Narrow Bridges (Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-83-C-00148).  Conducted by Goodell-Grivas, Inc., Southfield, MI.  Completed in 1985.

TRC staff consulted in this to evaluate a variety of post-mounted delineator and pavement marking applications to increase operation safety at narrow bridges.

Prime Contractor:  Improved Techniques for Collection Speed Data (Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-82-C-00064, Completed in 1984.

A series of field studies were undertaken to establish reliabilities associated with a variety of speed collection techniques.  Specific activities included:  (1) evaluation of vehicle selection strategies, (2) develop manual speed timing techniques, (3) establish suitability of various measurement techniques for various highway types, (4) establish reliabil­ities associated with various sample sizes, (5) examine speed variation within homogeneous highway sections, and (6) determine a free-flow speed headway criterion.

Prime Contractor:  The Feasibility of a Nationwide Network for Longer Combination Vehicles, Report of the Secretary of Transportation to the United States Congress (Federal Highway Administra­tion, June 27, 1985).  Contract 85-P-80162; completed in 1983.

TRC staff conducted an extensive literature review addressing specific aspects of large truck operations.  The findings of this literature review were incorporated into the large truck network feasibility study.

Subcontractor:  Selection Process for Safety and Operational Improve­ments on Rural Highways Administered by Local Jurisdictions (Federal Highway Administration Purchase Order 81-P-00065), Conducted by Wagner-McGee  Associates, Alexandria, VA.  Completed in 1983.

TRC undertook a subcontract to Wagner-McGee to develop a literature review and analysis of questionnaire data to assess safety and operational improve­ment procedures employed by rural county highway agencies.

Consultant:  Geometric Design Requirements in Highway Work Zones (Federal Highway Administration, Contract DTFH61-80-C-00146, 1980). Conducted by the Midwest Research Institute, Kansas City, Missouri.  Activity completed in 1982.

This project identified safety and operational problems in work zones.  Specific safety aspects of concern were truck operations; two-lane, two-way operations on divided highways; reduced lane width effects; and acceptable geometric standards for median cross-overs and pavement/shoulder drop-offs.   TRC consulting comprised study design inputs, designat­ing study sites, and contributing to the final report preparation

Consultant:  Large Truck Accident Causation (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Technical Report HS-806300, July, 1982), Contract No. 6TNH 22-81-P-07668.,

This activity involved report writing and limited data analyses relative to environmental and other factors which contribute to large truck accidents.

Prime Contractor:  Deployment and Application of The Traffic Evaluator System (Federal Highway Administration Contract DTFH61-82-Q-00010, 1982) Completed in 1982.

The development of this training course involved preparation of training materials, conducting a series of classroom sessions, and field training of FHWA personnel to deploy a sophisticated highway data collection device: the Traffic Evaluator System.


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