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Validating a driving simulator using surrogate safety measures

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Xuedong Yan,Mohamed Abdel-Aty,Essam Radwan,Xuesong Wang,Praveen Chilakapati

Abstract:Traffic crash statistics and previous research have shown an increased risk of traffic crashes at signalized intersections. How to diagnose safety problems and develop effective countermeasures to reduce crash rate at intersections is a key task for traffic engineers and researchers. This study aims at investigating whether the driving simulator can be used as a valid tool to assess traffic safety at signalized intersections. In support of the research objective, this simulator validity study was conducted from two perspectives, a traffic parameter (speed) and a safety parameter(crash history). A signalized intersection with as many important features (including roadway geometries, traffic control devices, intersection surroundings, and buildings) was replicated into a high-fidelity driving simulator. A driving simulator experiment with eight scenarios at the intersection were conducted to determine if the subjects’ speed behavior and traffic risk patterns in the driving simulator were similar to what were found at the real intersection. The experiment results showed that speed data observed from the field and in the simulator experiment both follownormal distributions and have equal means for each intersection approach, which validated the driving simulator in absolute terms. Furthermore,this study used an innovative approach of using surrogate safety measures from the simulator to contrast with the crash analysis for the field data.The simulator experiment results indicated that compared to the right-turn lane with the low rear-end crash history record (2 crashes), subjects showed a series of more risky behaviors at the right-turn lane with the high rear-end crash history record (16 crashes), including higher decelerationrate (1.80±1.20 m/s2 versus 0.80±0.65 m/s2), higher non-stop right-turn rate on red (81.67% versus 57.63%), higher right-turn speed as stop line (18.38±8.90 km/h versus 14.68±6.04 km/h), shorter following distance (30.19±13.43m versus 35.58±13.41 m), and higher rear-end probability (9/59 = 0.153 versus 2/60 = 0.033). Therefore, the relative validity of driving simulator was well established for the traffic safety studies at signalized intersections.

引用:Yan X., Abdel-Aty M., Radwan E., Wang X., and Chilakapati P. Validating a driving simulator using surrogate safety measures. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 2008, Volume 40. pp. 274-288.

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