EFFECTS OF VEHICLE RUNNING LIGHTS AND OTHER TRAFFIC VARIABLES ON DRIVERS' GAP ACCEPTANCE DECISIONS AT URBAN STOP-SIGNED INTERSECTIONS

In a research study performed for the Road Safety Unit, Road and Motor Vehicle Traffic Safety Branch, Ministry of Tranport (Canada), the authors measured gap acceptance evidenced by drivers entering urban thoroughfares from stop-signed side streets. This behaviour was sampled during periods just after dawn and just prior to dark - at those times when traffic codes do not require constant use of external vehicle lighting. The study's independent variables comprised: (1) traffic density, (2) time of day, (3) photometric measures of ambient illumination, (4) driver sex, (5) presence of passenger(s), (6) waiting time at intersections, (7) type of vehicle, (8) lights usage by each vehicle, (9) entering manoeuvre and (10) traffic volume on thoroughfare. Data were collected at selected intersections during the following periods: from 0.5 h prior to sunrise to 1.5 h after sunrise; also from 1.5 h prior to sunset until 0.5 h after sunset. The obtained data included the independent variables above, plus a recording of all time gaps and lags for the through-street vehicles. Analysis of the data and conversion of time gap to distance equivalents resulted in the determination of the relative effects of the independent variables on the decision of side street drivers, with respect to magnitude of rejected/accepted gaps. Use of vehicle running lights can be said to increase the safety of this type of driver decision process; also that this positive effect is greatest at the lowest levels of ambient illumination. Quantifying functions for the above are presented in the paper. (a) Paper presented at the 7th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association held in Warsaw 27-31 August 1979. (TRRL)

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Taylor & Francis

    4 Park Square, Milton Park
    Abingdon,   United Kingdom  OX14 4RN
  • Authors:
    • Rabideau, G F
    • Young, P B
  • Publication Date: 1979-6

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00308891
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 22 1980 12:00AM