Motorist Understanding of Pavement Centre Lines and their Effect on Driving Behaviour

  • Erastus Mishengu Mwanaumo Senior Research Associate, SARChi on Sustainable Construction Management and Leadership in the Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA
  • Kelvin Lungu Agabu Lecturer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Zambia, Great East Road, Lusaka, ZAMBIA
Keywords: Centre Lines, Driver Error, Human Factor, Lateral Vehicle Position


Human factors and more generally driver errors account for the largest number of road accidents. Driver errors are external human factors that can contribute to specific error types selected from slip, lapse, mistake and violation. Action and information retrieval errors are both examples of driver errors. The failure to interpret correctly an intended road marking’s message causes driver misunderstanding and lead to a driver error. Centre lines are examples of such markings and if misread or unrecognised may cause unintentional driver violations and unsafe driving. This study focused on the examining of driver understanding of road markings, and the influence of centre lines on their driving behaviour. This study determined that drivers had a much better understanding of the overtaking messages intended by road markings, than the directional flow message. Drivers demonstrated that they relied more on signs and other drivers to determine whether the road is a two-way or not. This study demonstrated that the presence of both centre lines and edge lines have a positive effect on a driver in handling and controlling of their vehicles’ position. It was postulated from this study that the absence of the edge lines has a more significant effect on a vehicle’s position than the absence of centre lines.


Download data is not yet available.


T. A. Dingus et al. (2016). Driver crash risk factors and prevalence evaluation using naturalistic driving data. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci, 113(10), 2636-2641.

Z. Batool. (2012). Attitudes towards road safety and aberrant behaviour of drivers in Pakistan. Available at:

L. Vogel & C. J. Bester. (2005). A relationship between accident types and causes. In: 24th Annu. South. African Transp. Conf. SATC 2005 Transp. Challenges, pp. 233–241.

P. Salmon, I. Johnston, & M. Regan. (2006). Human error and road transport : Phase two.

A. H. Parham, K. N. Womack, & H. G. Hawkins. (2003). Driver understanding of pavement marking colors and patterns. Traffic Control Devices, Visibility, Rail-highw. Grade Crossings, 250(1844), 35–44.

J. Reason, A. Manstead, S. Stephen, J. Baxter, & K. Campbell. (1990). Errors and violations on the roads: A real distinction?. Ergonomics, 33(10–11), 1315–1332.

W. Luo & K. C. P. Wang. (2013). Wheel path wandering based on field data. Airf. Highw. Pavement 2013 Sustain. Effic. Pavements - Proc. 2013 Airf. Highw. Pavement Conf..

C. J. G. Van Driel, R. J. Davidse, & M. F. A. M. Van Maarseveen. (2004). The effects of an edgeline on speed and lateral position: A meta-analysis. Accid. Anal. Prev., 36(4), 671-682.

M. A. Martinez. (2008). Accident causation and pre-accidental driving situations. Part 1. Overview and general statistics. Available at:

C. J. D. Patten. (2007). Cognitive workload and the driver understanding the effects of cognitive workload on driving from a human information processing perspective. Available at:

S. A Shappell & D. A Wiegmann. (2000). The human factors analysis and classification system – HFACS. Security, pp. 19.

W. D. Gray. (2014). Review of human error.

P. M. Salmon, M. A Regan, & I. Johnston. (2006). Human error and road transport: Phase two – A framework for an error tolerant road transport system.

N. A. Stanton & P. M. Salmon. (2009). Human error taxonomies applied to driving: A generic driver error taxonomy and its implications for intelligent transport systems. Saf. Sci., 47(2), 227–237.

D. Kaber, S. Jin, M. Zahabi, & C. Pankok. (2016). The effect of driver cognitive abilities and distractions on situation awareness and performance under hazard conditions. Transp. Res. Part F Traffic Psychol. Behav., 42, 177–194.

J. J. Rolison, S. Regev, S. Moutari, & A. Feeney. (2018). What are the factors that contribute to road accidents? An assessment of law enforcement views, ordinary drivers’ opinions, and road accident records. Accid. Anal. Prev., 115, 11–24.

P. K. Sanjram. (2013). Attention and intended action in multitasking: An understanding of cognitive workload. Displays, 34(4), 283–291.

T. Allahyari et al. (2008). Cognitive failures, driving errors and driving accidents. Int. J. Occup. Saf. Ergon., 14(2), 149–158.

J. Reason. (2000). Human error: Models and management. West. J. Med., 172(6), 393–396.

P. Van Elslande & K. Fouquet. (2007). Analyzing ‘human functional failures’ in road accidents. TRACE Eur. Proj., 5(027763), 1–39.

M. T. Taghavifard. (2009). Decision making under uncertain and risky situations. Available at:

M. Sucha, L. Sramkova, & R. Risser. (2014). The Manchester driver behaviour questionnaire: Self-reports of aberrant behaviour among Czech drivers. Eur. Transp. Res. Rev., 6(4), 493–502.

J. Sampson, S. As van, H. Joubert, G. Dazeley, F. Labuschagne, & A. Swanepoel. (2012). South African road traffic signs manual. Available at:

GRZ. (1995). Chapter 464 - the roads and road traffic act. Available at:

B. H. Cottrell, Y.-J. Kweon, L. E. Dougald, & I.-K. Lim. (2013). Investigation of the safety effects of edge and centerline markings on narrow, low-volume roads. Report No. FHWA/VCTIR 14-R3, pp. 1–36.

A. H. Parham, K. N. Womack, & H. G. Hawkins. (2003). Driver understanding of pavement marking colors and patterns. Transp. Res. Rec., 1844, 35–44.

How to Cite
Erastus Mishengu Mwanaumo, & Kelvin Lungu Agabu. (2021). Motorist Understanding of Pavement Centre Lines and their Effect on Driving Behaviour. International Journal of Engineering and Management Research, 11(1), 110-122.