U. S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NHTSA People Saving People
DOT HS 808 705

April 1998





Detailed Findings

General Discussion

Specific Issues




List of Tables
1 Composition of Beltway Driver Groups
2 How Participants Use the Beltway
3 Perceived Causes of Beltway Crashes
4 Perceived Causes of Beltway Crashes - Commercial Drivers
5 Responses to Aggressiveness Screening Questions

List of Figures
1 Questionnaire Responses - General vs. Aggressive Drivers

Final Report

Capital Beltway Update: Beltway User Focus Groups

This document is available to the public from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161.

This publication is distributed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the interest of information exchange. The opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Transportation or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. If trade or manufacturers' names or products are mentioned, it is because they are considered essential to the object of the publication and should not be construed as an endorsement. The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No. 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Capital Beltway Update: Beltway User Focus Groups
5. Report Date
April 1998
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Preusser Research Group, Inc.
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Preusser Research Group, Inc.
7100 Main Street
Trumbull, CT 06611
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590
13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Interim Report
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
Dr. Linda Cosgrove served as the NHTSA Contracting Officer's Technical Representative for the study.
16. Abstract
The Capital Beltway is 64 miles of roadway surrounding Washington, D.C. The Capital Beltway Safety Team, led by officials from Maryland and Virginia, was formed to address safety issues on this urban interstate highway. This report documents the results of focus groups run during May, 1997 for the Safety Team. Of the eight groups conducted: three were composed of representative Beltway drivers of private passenger vehicles; two were composed of specifically selected "aggressive drivers;" and three were composed of commercial truck drivers. Procedures followed those used in 1994 for a similar study. The results indicated that roadway design and maintenance issues were of less concern to focus group participants in 1997 as compared with 1994 likely reflecting Beltway improvements made during the last three years. Unsafe driving actions, including aggressive driving, were of more concern. Focus group participants supported information, education, licensing and congestion reduction countermeasures. They also supported vigorous law enforcement of traffic laws even knowing that law enforcement presence would add to traffic congestion.

17. Key Words 18. Distribution Statement
Crash Countermeasure
Urban Focus Group
Interstate Aggressive Drivers
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