Validating a driving simulator using surrogate safety measures
Abbreviated Journal Title
Accid. Anal. Prev.
driving simulator; signalized intersections; geo-specific database; modeling; speed validation; safety validation; rear-end crashes; Ergonomics; Public, Environmental & Occupational Health; Social; Sciences, Interdisciplinary; Transportation
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 follow normal 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 deceleration rate (1.80 +/- 1.20 m/s(2) versus 0.80 +/- 0.65 m/s(2)), 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 +/- 13.43 m 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. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Accident Analysis and Prevention
"Validating a driving simulator using surrogate safety measures" (2008). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 1157.