Intersection Stopping Behavior as Influenced by Driver State: Implications for Intersection Decision Support Systems
Doerzaph, Zachary Richard
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It is estimated that as many as 2.7 million crashes occur each year at intersections or are intersection related; resulting in over 8500 fatalities each year. These statistics have prompted government and corporate sponsored research into collision countermeasure systems that can enhance safety at intersections. Researchers are investigating technologies to provide an infrastructure-based or infrastructure-cooperative Intersection Decision Support (IDS) systems. Such systems would use pre-specified algorithms to identify drivers that have a high likelihood of violating the traffic signal and thus increase the risk of a collision. The system would subsequently warn the violating driver to stop though an in-vehicle or infrastructure-mounted interface. An IDS algorithm must be designed to provide adequate time for the driver to perceive, react, and stop the vehicle, while simultaneously avoiding a high false alarm rate. Prior to developing these algorithms, scientists must understand how drivers respond to traffic signals. Little research has focused on the influence of driver state on red-light running behavior or methods for distinguishing red light violators from non-violators. The objective of the present study was to define trends associated with intersection crossings under different driver states and to explore the point detection method of predicting red light running upstream of the intersection. This was accomplished through a test-track mixed-factor experiment with 28 participants. Each participant experienced a baseline (complete a full stop at the red light), distracted (misses signal phase change due to inattention), and willful (driver knowingly makes a late crossing in an attempt to 'beat the light') driver state conditions. To provide the opportunity for red-light running behavior from participants, the amber change interval began at five different distances from the intersection. These distances were located near and within the dilemma zone, a region in which drivers have a difficult time deciding whether to go or to stop. Data collected from in-vehicle sensors was statistically analyzed to determine significant effects between driver states, and to investigate point detection algorithms.
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