Impacts of Advance In-Vehicle Warning Messages on Driver Behavior Approaching Mid-Block Cross Walk

Laffey, Sean, Civil Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Laffey, Sean, Civil Engineering, University of Virginia

Mid-block crosswalks can be dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers because communication between the pedestrian and driver is non-verbal and each individual pedestrian decides when it is safe to cross. Sending an advanced warning message to a driver offers the potential to minimize the number of incidences involving vehicles and vulnerable road users, pedestrians, because a direct communication link is formed. This study designs the experimental methodology for testing driver’s reactions to advance in-vehicle warning messages, develop a mobile application that both pedestrians and motorists can install on their smartphones or tablets that enables the users to communicate with each other at mid-block crossings using discrete safety messages, tests and collects data for 80 naïve test subjects’ reaction to advance in-vehicle warning messages, and analyzes the safety impacts and performance metrics of the advance in-vehicle warning messages. This study finds that 73% of drivers who receive an advance warning stop for the pedestrian trying to cross while only 45% of drivers who did not receive an advanced warning stopped for the pedestrian. Drivers who received an advanced warning message approached the crosswalk with a significantly slower speed and standard deviation (19.6 mph and 3.4 mph respectively) compared to drivers who do not receive an advanced warning message (19.9 mph and 4.1 mph respectively). Drivers who received an advanced warning message began decelerating sooner for the pedestrian and more gradually for the pedestrian compared to the drivers who did not receive an advance warning message. This study finds that advanced warning messages can make crosswalks safer for drivers and pedestrians because drivers who receive an advanced warning message yielded significantly more frequently for pedestrians crossing at mid-block crosswalks, have a slower approach speed, and accelerate in a more tractable trend for a longer period of time.

MS (Master of Science)
connected vehicle, pedestrian, crosswalk, driver reaction
Sponsoring Agency:
Federal Highway Administration
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
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