Marquette University, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Iowa Department of Transportation, Minnesota Department of Transportation
The Minnesota Winter Ride Survey was designed to gauge the extent to which motorists were tolerant of the rougher ride of pavements on rural two-lane highways in the winter. Survey objectives, therefore, were centered around this focal question of winter ride tolerance. A telephone survey was conducted during the first quarter of the year (January 15 to March 15, 1997) by the Wisconsin Survey Research Laboratory (WSRL), which simultaneously conducted a similar survey in Wisconsin. Random digit dial samples were drawn for both states according to accepted sampling procedure. The survey data set provided by WSRL included 417 respondents.
Analysis of the survey responses, performed by Marquette University, yielded insights into the sample composition and relationships between respondents’ perception/tolerance and their driving and demographic characteristics. In terms of demographics, the sample was evenly split male versus female, with two-thirds of the respondents in the 21-49 age range. Almost half were lifetime residents of Minnesota, and one-third had a college degree or beyond. A majority drove cars, as opposed to minivans, trucks, etc., and very few of the respondents rated the roughness of their vehicle’s ride as less than average.
Minnesota Winter Ride Survey findings, on the whole, were reasonably consistent. Minnesota drivers who had noticed a change in the pavement’s ride since the beginning of winter were largely more tolerant of the rough ride than they would be the rest of the year. Based on the analysis, it was apparent that the perception and tolerance of the survey respondents was influenced by particular driving and demographic characteristics.