Brackstone, Mark, Waterson, Ben and McDonald, Mike
Determinants of following headway in congested traffic
Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 12, (2), . (doi:10.1016/j.trf.2008.09.003).
- Accepted Manuscript
This paper reports on results of a study undertaken in the U.K. aimed at investigating factors affecting the car following process. An understanding of the factors affecting this complex decision making process is essential to a wide range of theoretical issues including driver workload, capacity and the modeling of freeway flow, as well as practical applications such as the design of in-vehicle driver aids and assistance systems, many of which have direct relevance to increasing driver safety. The study used an instrumented vehicle to collect time dependent following data for a group of test drivers. Data was collected on two differing types of high speed road, using six primary subjects who drove a test vehicle, supplemented by data on one hundred and twenty three drivers that were observed following the test vehicle.
Examination was made of how the time headway chosen by a driver is influenced by a range of situational variables commonly believed to effect behavior, with four main findings. Firstly, headway was found to change according to the type of vehicle being followed (i.e. subjects followed closer to trucks than to cars), secondly, little variation was found with changes in overall traffic flow, thirdly, little correlation was found with road type, and lastly a distinct day-to-day variation in individual behavior was observed.
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