On the Plausibility of Using Simulation to Model Left-Turn Cross-Path Crashes

This paper describes a simple simulation model for left-turn cross-path crashes, where a probabilistic gap acceptance model for the turning driver is combined with a standard braking model for the opposing driver. Data for the modeling the turning driver’s behavior were collected at an intersection near the University of Minnesota campus, while data characterizing the opposing driver’s reaction time and braking rate were taken from the literature. After placing an approximately 3.5-second lower bound on acceptable gaps, the model generated collision rates similar to those reported in the literature. The model characterizes left-turn crashes as resulting when the turning driver accepts a minimal gap and takes an atypically long time complete his/her turn, while the opposing driver takes an atypically long time to react before braking. While this scenario may in fact describe some left-turn cross-path crashes, a reconstruction of an actual fatal crash was more consistent with the opposing driver reacting normally, but the turning driver selecting a gap shorter than any observed in our field study. This suggests that a failure of attention, rather than a failure of gap perception, may have been responsible. Characterizing the rate at which such attention errors occur would then be necessary to accurately predict left-turn crash frequencies.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01045001
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-1019
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 5:37PM