Individual Variations versus Collective Traffic Patterns: Heterogeneity Effect in a Risk-Taking Environment

The objective of this paper is to explore the role of individual behavioral variations in the creation of accidents and the formation of congestion patterns on a freeway section. To realize such task, the authors adopt a recently formulated acceleration model that incorporates the risk-taking attitudes of drivers; while using prospect theory to evaluate the perceived consequences of applying different acceleration rates, a probability of collision and a crash penalty term are explicitly introduced in the formulation. After being calibrated against real-life trajectory, this study focuses on two incident scenarios: rear-end collision and fixed object crashes. The effect of heterogeneity in both psychological factors and execution/perception errors on the accidents number and their distribution as well as the scattering of the flow-density data points along a freeway length is studied. Through sensitivity analysis, correlations between the crash-penalty, the negative coefficient associated with losses in speed, the positive coefficient associated with gains in speed, the driver’s uncertainty, the anticipation time and the reaction time are retrieved. The formulated model offers a better understanding of driver behavior under extreme/incident conditions.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 20p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01152243
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-4085
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 12:06PM