Study of Bus Driver Behavior at the Onset of Yellow Traffic Signal Indication for the Design of Yellow Time Durations
Ong, Boon Teck
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Driver violations at traffic signals are a major cause of intersection vehicle crashes. The yellow interval is used to inform approaching drivers of an upcoming change in the traffic signal indication from green to red. Current yellow-interval durations are currently calculated to accommodate for dilemma zone protection for passenger cars only. Buses with different vehicle, driver, and occupancy characteristics behave differently at the onset of a yellow indication. The research presented in this thesis characterizes the difference between bus and passenger car driver behavior at the onset of yellow-indication. A revised set of yellow timing procedures are presented to address the requirements for bus dilemma zone protection. A dataset of 864 stop-go records were collected as part of the research effort using a school bus approaching a traffic signal on the Virginia Smart Road facility. The experiment was conducted at an instructed speed limit of 57 km/h (35 mph) approach speed where participant drivers were presented with yellow indications. A total of 36 participating bus drivers were randomly selected from three age groups (under 40 years old, 40 to 64 years old and 65 and above) with equal number of male and female for each age group. Using the data collected as part of this research effort, statistical models were created to model bus driver perception-reaction times (PRTs) and deceleration levels considering driver attributes (age and gender), roadway grade, vehicle approach speed, and time to intersection (TTI) at the onset of the yellow indication. A Monte-Carlo simulation was conducted to develop appropriate yellow indication timings to provide adequate dilemma zone protection for buses. Lookup tables were then developed for different reliability levels to provide practical guidelines for the design of yellow signal timings to accommodate different bus percentages within the traffic stream. The recommended change durations can be integrated within the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) initiative to provide customizable driver warnings prior to a transition to a red indication.
- Masters Theses