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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-01-051
Date: May 2001

Guidelines And Recommendations To Accommodate Older Drivers and Pedestrians

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The proportion of the population over age 65 is growing significantly. Older road users can be expected to have problems driving and as pedestrians, given the known changes in their perceptual, cognitive, and psychomotor performances, presenting many challenges to transportation engineers, who must ensure system safety while increasing operational efficiency.

This Guidelines and Recommendations document provides practitioners with a condensed source of practical information that links older road user characteristics to highway design, operational, and traffic engineering recommendations by addressing specific roadway features. These Guidelines and Recommendations supplement existing standards and guidelines in the areas of highway geometry, operations, and traffic control devices.

The information in thisdocument should be of interest to highway designers, traffic engineers, and highway safety specialists involved in the design and operation of highway facilities. In addition, this document will be of interest to researchers concerned with issues of older road user safety and mobility. The rationale and supporting evidence used to develop these recommendations, summarizing over three decades of highway safety research, is contained in the Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians, FHWA-RD-01-103.

Copies of this report can be obtained through the FHWA Research and Technology Report Center, 9701 Philadelphia Court, Unit Q, Lanham, Maryland 20706, telephone: (301) 577-0906, fax: (301) 577-1421, or the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia, 22161, telephone: (703) 487-4650, fax: (703) 321-8547.

Michael F. Trentacoste
Director, Office of Safety
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high–quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.



1. Report No.
2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
5. Report Date
May 2001
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Staplin, L., Lococo, K., Byington, S., and Harkey, D.
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

The Scientex Corporation
2000 14th Street, N. #300
Arlington, VA 22201

TransAnalytics, LLC
1722 Sumneytown Pike, Box 328
Kulpsville, PA 19443

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
NCP. No. 3A6a–0042
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Safety and Traffic Operations R&D
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101–2296
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report
Sept. 1997 – May 2001
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
COTR: Joseph Moyer, HRDS–07; Elizabeth Alicandri, HSA–20; Kelley Pecheux, HRDS–07/SAIC
16. Abstract

This project updated, revised, and expanded the scope of the Older Driver Highway Design Handbook published by FHWA in 1998. Development of the updated Handbook (FHWA–RD–01–103) was complemented by a technology transfer initiative to make practitioners aware of the Handbook and assist in applying its recommendations. This included the development of a condensed document presenting recommendations and implementation guidelines only; plus printed and electronic materials supporting the conduct of practitioner workshops throughout the U.S. in the 1999–2001 period.

Consistent with the full Handbook, this Guidelines and Recommendations document incorporates new research findings and technical developments; and extensive feedback from state, county, and municipal engineers who reviewed and applied recommendations from the 1998 publication. Guidance on how and when to implement the included recommendations is included, as well as codes which indicate at a glance the relationship of each recommendation with standard design manuals \ including the MUTCD and the AASHTO Green Book.

All research products developed under this contract are designed to provide practical guidance to engineers to accommodate the needs and functional limitations of an aging population of road users. Included recommendations are directed toward new construction, reconstruction, scheduled maintenance, and 'spot treatments' to ameliorate demonstrated safety problems, emphasizing countermeasures with modest additional cost during installation and the potential for cost savings over the life cycle.

17. Key Words
Safety, Highway Design, Highway Operations, Driver Age, Driver Performance, Human Factors, Vision, Attention, Perception, Cognition, Memory, Physical Ability, Risk Perception, Hazard Perception.
18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
19. Security Classif. (of this report)
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 (8–72) Reproduction of completed page authorized


SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors






    Background and Scope of Handbook Recommendations
    Recommendations by Design Element
    1. Intersecting Angle (Skew)
    2. Receiving Lane (Throat) Width for Turning Operations
    3. Channelization
    4. Intersection Sight–Distance Requirements
    5. Offset (Single) Left–Turn Lane Geometry, Signing, and Delineation
    6. Treatments/Delineation of Edgelines, Curbs, Medians, and Obstacles
    7. Curb Radius
    8. Traffic Control for Left–Turn Movements at Signalized Intersections
    9. Traffic Control for Right–Turn/RTOR Movements at Signalized Intersections
    10. Street–Name Signing
    11. One–Way/Wrong–Way Signing
    12. Stop– and Yield–Controlled Intersection Signing
    13. Devices for Lane Assignment on Intersection Approach
    14. Traffic Signals
    15. Fixed Lighting Installations
    16. Pedestrian Crossing Design, Operations, and Control
    17. Roundabouts

    Background and Scope of Handbook Recommendations
    Recommendations by Design Element
    1. Exit Signing and Exit Ramp Gore Delineation
    2. Acceleration/Deceleration Lane Design Features
    3. Fixed Lighting Installations
    4. Traffic Control Devices for Restricted or Prohibited Movements on Freeways, Expressways, and Ramps

    Background and Scope of Handbook Recommendations
    Recommendations by Design Element
    1. Pavement Markings and Delineation on Horizontal Curves
    2. Pavement Width on Horizontal Curves
    3. Crest Vertical Curve Length and Advance Signing for Sight–Restricted Locations
    4. Passing Zone Length, Passing Sight Distance, and Passing/Overtaking Lanes on Two–Lane Highways

    Background and Scope of Handbook Recommendations
    Recommendations by Design Element
    1. Lane Closure/Lane Transition Practices
    2. Portable Changeable (Variable) Message Signing Practices
    3. Channelization Practices (Path Guidance)
    4. Delineation of Crossovers/Alternate Travel Paths
    5. Temporary Pavement Markings

    Background and Scope of Handbook Recommendations
    Recommendations by Design Element
    1. Passive Crossing Control Devices





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