A novel cost/benefit approach for reducing frequency of deviant driving speeds in expressways

David Navon, Ronen Kasten, Amit Pomerants, Ido Erev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Testing how effective could be a proposed means to attain reduction of speed dispersion on expressways for decreasing the rate of accident-prone interactions. Background: Quite a few studies, mainly over the last two decades, found speed dispersion to be a major determinant of the formation of accident-prone interactions between vehicles moving in the same direction – apparently quite more weighty than average speed is. That seems to call for some conceptual revision on the part of authorities in charge of enacting traffic on expressways, as well as some reform on the part of enforcing agencies. The study reported here examines the effectiveness of a novel concept for the control of driving speed in limited-access highways, possibly extended to other expressways as well, that is based on two tenets: One, introducing a principle tuned to admit just a narrow range of speeds, thereby help to reduce speed dispersion on the road. Two, recording information on mean speed of each car. Driving in limited-access highways is no longer considered a service taken for granted that every driver is entitled to get free, rather a commodity that has in principle to be paid for, unless the driver's mean driving speed at any given, defined period falls within a known free speed range. Method: In a laboratory experiment participants were asked to drive a driving simulator given a traffic regime based on the two tenets described above. The hypothesis was that a novel traffic regime following the principles of this concept might substantially reduce speed dispersion, both within a subject and between subjects. Results: In most of the 1-km segments of the driving path, subjects managed to keep speed within the admitted range (width of which was 10 km/h). Speed dispersion measures within- and between-subjects were found substantially lower in the proposed regime condition, compared with a condition simulating the present regime, suggesting that the former may be effective in reducing unwelcome speed dispersion – shown elsewhere (Navon, 2003) to be a major determinant of the formation of accident-prone interactions between vehicles moving in the same direction. Conclusion: The proposed regime seems to be effective in helping to decrease speed dispersion on the road, thereby serve to reduce accident rate. Application: Widespread use of that proposed traffic regime may serve to reduce both number and intensity of accidents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-869
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Volume62
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported here was supported by a grant from the Ran Naor foundation for the advancement of road safety research (No. 2006-022 ), located in Israel. The authors are also indebted to Yuval Shim’oni and Asaf Shapira for programming the simulator, to Ziziana Lazar for programming the experiments, as well as to Ma'ayan Ben-Eliezer, Aviv Ben-Shabat, El’ad Gvirtz, Ziv Shina, Nadav Hirsch, Noa Meir and Shahar Dotan for running the experiments and help in various phases of the experimental work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019

Keywords

  • Deviant speeds
  • Driving speed
  • Incentive
  • Traffic accidents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology

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