Document Type




Format of Original

9 p.

Publication Date



National Academy of Sciences

Source Publication

Transportation Research Record

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.3141/1769-08


A three-phase study involving focus groups and sample surveys was conducted in three Midwestern states to assess the amount of satisfaction that motorists who drive on rural, two-lane state highways have with the pavement characteristics of those highways and to explain the relationship between the actual physical condition of the pavements and motorists' satisfaction. Consistently in each state, the direct relationship between pavement quality and driver satisfaction was mediated by cognitive structure—a set of five specific beliefs motorists have about the pavement. The part of the study that (a) applies a powerful psychological model to the task of understanding motorists' satisfaction with pavements; (b) offers reliable measures of driver satisfaction with pavement quality and of belief-based cognitive structure related to pavements; (c) has accomplished the important task of identifying the most salient pavement features considered by members of the public when they evaluate pavement quality; and (d) illustrates very clearly the importance of considering motorists' beliefs about the pavement, issues of trust, and aspects of the Fishbein's attitude model and Ajzen's theory of planned behavior when trying to predict or understand driver satisfaction are covered. Although the pavement management indices used by the state departments of transportation will continue to be used to establish thresholds for improvement triggers, these indices alone do not explain such broad concepts as satisfaction with a particular pavement.


Accepted version. Transportation Research Record, Vol. 1769 (2001): 61-70. DOI. © 2001 National Academy of Sciences. Used with permission.

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