The RAINVISION project investigates the influence of road markings on driver behaviour, also in light of an ageing population.
Therefore, the application of an in-vehicle video and data capturing device was used in order to study driver behaviour on a test track under different driving conditions.
Results indicate reflective marking materials are perceived more comfortable and guiding compared to non-reflective marking. Applying reflective marking material has a positive effect
on the subjective feeling of safety of drivers, but at the same time leading to slightly higher speeds in reflective marking conditions. It can be concluded that the benefits (subjective driver comfort
and better anticipation of road trajectory) outweigh the disadvantages (slightly higher speed choice)
The purpose of this study was to scientifically assess the impact of the visibility of different pavement
markings in different conditions (night time driving in dry, wet and wet & rainy circumstances), also taking
into account different age groups. Therefore, a field experiment was carried out on a specifically prepared
test track near the city of Melk, Austria. 90 of 120 subjects have been selected based on psychological
pre-testing to ensure a homogenous test sample for three age groups.
Test drives were carried out at night within three different marking conditions (non-reflective, standard
reflective material, wet reflective material) on three different test nights under dry, wet and wet & rainy
driving conditions with four identical test vehicles. With the help of in-vehicle data loggers, driving
performance was measured by means of speed choice, cornering and acceleration behavior. Additionally,
a questionnaire used to measure drivers´ subjective comfort levels after each test run.
Results indicate that that driving comfort as well as clearness and perceivableness of track trajectory was
assessed best when advanced reflective material was applied on the track. Regarding driving behavior by
means of speed choice, test subjects drove slowest in the non-reflective condition, faster under condition
with applied standard reflective marking material, and even slightly faster under the condition with
advanced reflective material. Driving behavior expressed in terms of mean lateral and longitudinal
accelerations, no statistically significant differences occurred after controlling for speed.
It could be clearly shown that both reflective marking materials are perceived more comfortable and
guiding compared to the non-reflective marking. Applying reflective marking material has a positive effect
on the subjective feeling of safety of drivers, especially in adverse driving conditions which were
simulated in this experiment. Under night-time und rainy driving conditions, the wet retro-reflective
material was assessed as clearly guiding the driving path, thus providing anticipatory stimuli of road
environment and taking workload off the driver.
From a traffic safety perspective, the main difference in terms of traffic safety lies in the question whether
to apply or not to apply reflective marking material at all. If reflective material is applied, the better choice
is to use wet reflective material instead of non-reflective material as the benefits (subjective driver comfort
and better anticipation of road trajectory) outweigh the disadvantages (slightly higher speed choice) for