A Behavioral Model of Drivers’ Mean Speed Influenced by Weather Conditions, Road Geometry, and Driver Characteristics Using a Driving Simulator Study

Driving above the speed limit is one of the factors that significantly affect safety. Many studies examined the factors affecting the speed of vehicles in the simulated environment. The present study aimed to analyze drivers’ characteristics, time and weather conditions, and geometric features’ effect on mean speed in simulated conditions simultaneously. In this regard, the simulator experiment data of 70 drivers were collected in a two-lane rural highway at six different times, and weather scenarios and their socioeconomic characteristics were collected by a questionnaire. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to capture the complex relationships among related variables. Eleven variables were grouped into four latent variables in the structural model. Latent variables including “Novice Drivers,” “Experienced Drivers,” “Sight Distance,” and “Geometric Design” were defined and found significant on their mean speed. The results showed that “Novice Drivers” have a positive correlation with the mean speed. Meanwhile, “Experienced Drivers,” who drive 12% slower than the novice group, negatively affect the mean speed with a standard regression weight of −0.08. This relation means that young and novice drivers are more inclined to choose higher speeds. Among variables, the latent variable “Sight Distance” has the most significant effect on the mean speed. This model shows that foggy weather conditions strongly affect the speed selection behavior and reduce the mean speed by 40%. Nighttime also reduces mean speed due to poor visibility conditions. Furthermore, “Geometric design” as the latent variable indicates the presence of curves on the simulated road, and it can be concluded that the existence of a curve on the road encourages drivers to slow down, even young drivers. It is noteworthy that the parts of the simulated road with a horizontal curve act as a speed reduction tool for drivers.


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  • Accession Number: 01774221
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 15 2021 12:32PM