Visibility blockage, Driving Simulator, response time, deceleartion rate, cuising velocity, LTV, LSV, Logistic regression


Driving safety has been an issue of great concern in the United States throughout the years. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), in 2003 alone, there were 6,267,000 crashes in the U.S. from which 1,915,000 were injury crashes, including 38,764 fatal crashes and 43,220 human casualties. The U.S. Department of Transportation spends millions of dollars every year on research that aims to improve roadway safety and decrease the number of traffic collisions. In spring 2002, the Center for Advanced Traffic System Simulation (CATSS), at the University of Central Florida, acquired a sophisticated reconfigurable driving simulator. This simulator, which consists of a late model truck cab, or passenger vehicle cab, mounted on a motion base capable of operation with six degrees of freedom, is a great tool for traffic studies. Two applications of the simulator are to study the contribution of Light Truck Vehicles (LTVs) to potential rear-end collisions, the most common type of crashes, which account for about a third of the U.S. traffic crashes, and the involvement of Larger Size Vehicles (LSVs) in red light running. LTVs can obstruct horizontal visibility for the following car driver and has been a major issue, especially at unsignalized intersections. The sudden stop of an LTV, in the shadow of the blindness of the succeeding car driver, may deprive the following vehicle of a sufficient response time, leading to high probability of a rear-end collision. As for LSVs, they can obstruct the vertical visibility of the traffic light for the succeeding car driver on signalized intersection producing a potential red light running for the latter. Two sub-scenarios were developed in the UCF driving simulator for each the vertical and horizontal visibility blockage scenarios. The first sub-scenario is the base sub-scenario for both scenarios, where the simulator car follows a passenger car, and the second sub-scenario is the test sub-scenario, where the simulator car follows an LTV for the horizontal visibility blockage scenario and an LSV for the vertical visibility blockage scenario. A suggested solution for the vertical visibility blockage of the traffic light problem that consisted of adding a traffic signal pole on the right side of the road was also designed in the driving simulator. The results showed that LTVs produce more rear-end collisions at unsignalized intersections due to the horizontal visibility blockage and following car drivers' behavior. The results also showed that LSVs contribute significantly to red light running on signalized intersections and that the addition of a traffic signal pole on the right side of the road reduces the red light running probability.


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Graduation Date





Radwan, Essam A.


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil Engineering








Release Date

August 2005

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)