Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - surveys, ridership - drivers


Yellow, White, Traffic markings, Surveys, Road markings, Recommendations, Pavement markings, Motor vehicle operators, Drivers, Countries, Comprehension, Centerlines, Center lines, Carriageway markings


Over the last decade, increasing attention has been devoted to the potential of converting U.S. pavement markings to an all-white system. There are many reasons and potential benefits for doing so. As part of an NCHRP study, researchers conducted many activities to evaluate the feasibility of implementing an all-white marking system in the United States. The research study findings on marking practices in other countries and the results of the driver survey on all-white markings are summarized here. The researchers found that 17 of the 22 countries contacted use an all-white marking system. However, numerous differences exist between the systems used in various countries, so there is no single all-white system on which the United States could base implementation. The survey findings indicate that the all-white markings evaluated in the survey did not have any higher comprehension levels than the current system of yellow-white markings. Therefore, implementation of all-white markings would need to be accompanied by an extensive driver education program. The survey findings indicate that the presence of a solid line as part of the centerline increases understanding of the two-way message of a centerline to about 85%. In developing the survey, the researchers determined that the use of various marking widths or stripe-gap ratios was not effective in conveying messages to drivers. On the basis of the study findings, the researchers recommended an all-white system not be implemented in the United States at this time.