Fatigue and drowsy driving in the state of Utah has been a causal factor in thousands of crashes over the years and poses a serious threat to public safety. Consequently, the purpose of this research was to evaluate the impact of drowsy driving in the state, to identify locations where fatigue and drowsy driving may be contributing factors to current crashes, and to identify methods to help mitigate these crashes. A 3-year drowsy driving crash rate spanning the years 2002 – 2004 was used to determine which segments of Utah highway are most prone to drowsy driving crashes. Drowsy driving corridors were located on Interstates 15, 70, 80, and 84 as well as United States Routes 89 and 91. Furthermore, State Route 36 also had two drowsy driving corridors. In order to recommend appropriate drowsy driving countermeasures for the drowsy driving corridors, a review of the existing countermeasures was conducted. The existing countermeasures included cable median barrier, rumble strips, rest areas, and drowsy driving freeway signage. The freeway signage is used to alert drivers of the adverse effects of drowsy driving and was the basis for a before-after study as well as a public survey of drowsy driving along Interstate 80 west of Salt Lake City. The before-after study of the drowsy driving freeway signage concluded that the freeway signage has played a part in reducing the number of crashes by as much as 63 percent in the eastbound direction and by as much as 22 percent in the westbound direction. As indicated, a public survey was conducted at two rest areas to supplement the findings of the before-after analysis. Using the 405 completed surveys, 14 Chi-Square tests were conducted with five of the test yielding statistically significant results. Finally, recommendations were made for the 41 drowsy driving corridors resulting from the 3-year crash rate analysis. Drowsy driving countermeasures recommended include: additional shoulder and centerline rumble strips, cable median barrier, guardrail replacement, and drowsy driving highway signage. Drowsy driving countermeasures not yet implemented but which should be considered by the Utah Department of Transportation are transverse rumble strips, wider longitudinal pavement markings, in-lane pavement markings indicating “AVOID FATIGUE DRIVING,” minimizing edge drop off, flattening slopes in clear zones, and adding a modified rest area.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





drowsy driving, fatigue driving, transportation, rumble strips, cable median barrier, drowsy driving freeway signage, drowsy driving countermeasures, Utah Department of Transportation