HFDG: McIntyre: A HUMAN FACTORS STUDY OF DILEMMA ZONE WARNING SYSTEMS

This semester (spring 2012) HFDG will be held at 2:30 pm in room 419 of Brackett. Our first speaker this semester is Scott McIntyre.

This driving simulator experiment compares three types of warnings in advance of traffic signal end of green to a control where no advance warning is given when drivers are in the Dilemma Zone (DZ). The DZ is the point at which drivers are faced with the dilemma of stopping or proceeding through an intersection with roughly equal perceived risk. Previous research has found that advanced warnings alter behavior at intersections where warnings are received and subsequently at intersections when no warning is given. Advanced warnings have been shown to reduce red light running, but possibly lead to unsafe behavior such as speeding up to avoid being caught at a red light. Eighty participants (20-76 yrs) drove a total of 45 minutes on a multilane highway with 36 intersections. On approach to 16 of the intersections, participants were placed in the DZ. Participants in the three advanced warning conditions received one of two types of roadside flashing warnings or an in-vehicle warning 1.5 s or 3.0 s in advance of the end of green. The control group received no advance warning. Drivers in all of the advanced warning conditions stopped at the DZ intersections significantly more often than control condition drivers. When drivers stopped at a DZ intersection, those who received longer, 3 s advanced warnings released the accelerator sooner than control condition drivers. These findings are inconsistent with unsafe responses to advanced warnings, such as speeding up.

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