It’s one of the most terrifying scenarios you can imagine: You’re driving 70mph down a freeway late at night when suddenly, you realize there’s a car or truck headed straight toward you, driving the wrong direction, in your lane. You crank the wheel in a desperate attempt to swerve out of their path, but there’s not enough time. You collide head-on.
With prominent signage and medians on most highways and freeways, you might not think this type of situation occurs very often, but you’d be wrong. According to data from the National Transportation Safety Board, wrong-way crashes claim an average of 359 lives each year in the U.S. And while overall vehicle crash deaths have declined in the past decade, wrong-way crashes have maintained their deadly toll. Some states have even seen an uptick in wrong-way crashes.
Carmanah’s Wrong-Way Vehicle Detection and Alert Systems offer a complete, configurable, and effective defense against wrong-way driving. Typically installed at or near freeway exit ramps—the primary origin of wrong-way events—these robust and durable systems use advanced radar, camera, and LED technology to accurately detect wrong-way vehicles, warn drivers of their mistake, encourage self-correction, and notify local authorities. Two categories of systems are available to suit a variety of roadway types and requirements.
Achieve Vision Zero goals with Wrong-Way Alert Systems
The Vision Zero initiative is a worldwide movement that encourages cities to pledge to eliminate death and serious injury from their roads. Wrong-way driver systems are one element that transportation engineers, government officials, and safety advocates can consider to help them meet their city or state’s Vision Zero initiatives.
Video On-Demand: Wrong-Way Vehicle Detection, Alert and Notification Systems Webinar
Watch our two-part webinar series to learn more about the problem of wrong-way driving and our solutions. Part one deals with the contributing factors to wrong-way driving in the US and Canada and shows the potential for these wrong-way driver alert systems in your region. Part two highlights Carmanah’s advanced wrong-way vehicle systems, the detection technology used, and how they can help reduce wrong-way driving incidents. Click the images below to watch.
Poor lighting: 78% of fatal collisions occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. when visibility is low.
Problematic roadway design and markings: The primary origin of wrong-way events is exit ramps due to confusion about ramp exit and lack of signage.
Driver issues: Multiple studies show 50-75% of wrong-way events involve alcohol. Distracted driving, driver inexperience, and cognitive issues are other contributing factors.
Current treatments are ineffective
The most common WWD countermeasures include WW and DO NOT ENTER signage, pavement markings, and added retroreflectivity. Despite these efforts, WWD crashes and fatalities are not decreasing.
States have deployed new countermeasures that use a variety of technologies and off-the-shelf components with varying success.
Arkansas’ $3.1 million sign and pavement marking upgrades had no effect on the number of crashes
Texas’ 22-month study of LED-enhanced signs found a 38% reduction in WWD events
Nevada’s 46 LED light bar systems were “80% effective in stopping wrong-way drivers,” according to preliminary results
Carmanah’s WWVDAS adds safety and reduces response times
Relying on wrong-way drivers to self-correct or on other drivers to report them is dangerous and wastes valuable time. Multiple points of safety lower the risk of a fatal crash.
Research shows that adding high-intensity LEDs to signs improves self-correction.
Detection and alert technologies that notify authorities can help reduce the time to intercept wrong-way drivers, alert other drivers, and deploy first responders.
Vehicle detection and alert systems are up to 80% effective in stopping wrong-way drivers
In Nevada, 75 people died in wrong-way driving crashes between 2005 and 2015. Dissatisfied with the performance of plain signage and pavement markings, NDOT doubled down on its countermeasure efforts, piloting 46 detection and alert systems that feature the same high-intensity light bars used in Carmanah’s RRFB crosswalk systems. Research is ongoing, but preliminary results showed they were up to 80% effective preventing wrong-way collisions.
Every superhero needs a team behind the scenes that helps them save the world. We like to think we’re the Alfred to your Batman; the Kato to your Green Hornet; the Jarvis to your Iron Man. We spend our time working with traffic heroes like you to ensure we’re providing sustainable, reliable solutions for your traffic applications, from school zones to crosswalks to road signs. Whether your mission is improving walkability, slowing down traffic, or ensuring a sign can be seen, we’re here to help you do it. And we’ll help you in any location, while also meeting MUTCD regulations, ITE requirements, or other specifications.