SPR 23-642: Using Knowledge of Human Factors to Strengthen Highway Design

Grants and Contracts Details


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, human error is deemed the critical factor in 94 percent of crashes. But even when a driver is cited as the critical reason for a crash, many variables, often in combination with driver error, exert an influence (e.g., poor signage, inadequate sight distance, highway geometrics, weather). Although transportation agencies have gravitated toward more context-adapted roadway designs through initiatives like context sensitive design, performance-based flexible solutions, and new context classification systems, engineers can struggle to design facilities that are fully responsive to the needs, limitations, and perceptions of road users. Significant knowledge of human factors has been catalogued, but engineers lack practical guidance for applying this knowledge efficiently and consistently during project development activities. OBJECTIVES • This research will develop a framework and guidance engineers and designers can use to incorporate knowledge of human factors into project development. Guidance will describe methods for analyzing human factors, determining which are most critical, and applying insights to create holistic designs that account for perceptions, behaviors, and capabilities of road users, as well as features of the natural and built environments.
Effective start/end date7/1/226/30/24


  • KY Transportation Cabinet


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