Human Factors Evaluation Methods For Traffic Control Devices


  • Fred Hanscom, P.E.
  • Robert Dewar, Ph.D.


The U S Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) outlines the steps in a process for requesting and conducting experimentations for new traffic control devices (TCDs).  This process should contain a detailed research plan to include, if appropriate, both before and after studies as well as quantitative data describing the performance of the experimental device.  However, no instruction or guidance is provided in the MUTCD with regard to specific evaluation techniques.

Due to the critical role of human factors in TCD design and effectiveness, it is essential that evaluation techniques be properly conducted and be sensitive to road user capabilities and limitations.