Drivers’ Gap Acceptance Behaviours at Intersections: A Driving Simulator Study to Understand the Impact of Mobile Phone Visual-Manual Interactions

Mobile phone use is often considered to be the main source of distraction on the road. Gap acceptance at intersections is a frequent and complex driving task that requires high visual attention from drivers. This study aims to investigate the effect of mobile phone use on the gap acceptance maneuver at intersections. Different mobile phone use positions, intersection type, gap size and driver characteristics were considered in the study. A total of 41 licensed drivers drove in an advanced driving simulator in three phone use conditions: baseline (no phone use), using the phone under the steering wheel (covert) and using the phone above the steering wheel (overt). Drivers drove the simulator three times and experienced two intersection types (straight-forward vs. left-turn) and two gap sizes (4 s vs. 7 s) during each drive. A parametric accelerated failure time (AFT) duration model was developed to evaluate the intersection crossing completion time of drivers. The results showed no significant difference of gap acceptance behaviors between the two phone use positions. The distraction task did not affect drivers’ gap acceptance decision, but it increased the crossing completion time by over 10 % compared to baseline. Besides, drivers behaved conservatively at intersections while using a mobile phone, such as adopting a larger deceleration, waiting a longer time, and maintaining a larger distance to the front vehicle, etc. However, these compensational behaviors were not helpful in improving the intersection traffic situation regarding both safety and efficiency. Intersection type and gap size were both significant factors of gap acceptance decision and crossing completion time. Additionally, younger drivers were more likely to accept a gap than older drivers, and female drivers spent longer time to cross the intersection than males.


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  • Accession Number: 01734643
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 24 2020 10:51AM