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Design Driver

CE 453 Lecture 7

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Design Driver Characteristics

Design Driver: driver most expected to use


facility (familiar or unfamiliar?)
– Accommodated in design, signing, etc.

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Design Driver Characteristics Cont.
Physical characteristics
Processing ability
Tolerable Accelerations/Decelerations
– Longitudinal (along roadway )
– Lateral (around curves)
– Vertical (comfort)

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Design Driver Characteristics Cont.

Others?: age, gender, physical condition (alcohol, etc.),


mental capabilities, skill (self perception – are you in the
top ½ of driver skill?)
Two others related to design: perception-reaction time
and expectancy

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Design Driver

Wide range of system users


What range of drivers use the system?
– Ages: 16 year old to 80 year old
– Different mental and physical states
– Physical (sight, hearing, etc)
– experience
Design Driver: driver most expected to use
facility
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Picture this: A little old lady who is used to her 5,000-lb.
1991 Buick Station Wagon is tonight poking along in
her grandson's brand new Honda Civic Si - in the
rain - on an unfamiliar road after spending four hours
drinking fuzzy navels at her 50th class reunion at
Neil Cosgrove's Friendly Bar & Grill.
Compare her to the 13-year-old who swiped Dad's
keys and is now piloting Dad’s Porsche at Mach II
down the same stretch of unfamiliar road. These two
unlikely individuals inadvertently attempt to occupy
the same space simultaneously. Yet you certainly
can't apply the same perception and reaction times
to both drivers.
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Percent of Driving Population

0
2
4
6
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< 20 12

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

Age Groups
60-64

65-69

70-74

75-79

80-84

> 84
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Visual Acuity

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Visual Reception
Visual Acuity: Ability to see fine details
• Static (stationary objects):
– Depends on brightness
– Increases with increasing brightness up to ~ 3
candles (cd/sq ft) -- remains constant after that
– Contrast
– Time (0.5 to 1.0 second)
• Dynamic (ability to detect moving objects)
– Clear vision within a conical angle 3 to 5º
– Fairly clear within 10 to 12º
– Key criteria in determining placement of traffic
signs
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Visual Reception
Peripheral Vision: Ability to see objects beyond the
cone of clearest vision (160 degrees)
– Age dependent
– Objects seen but details and color are not clear

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Visual Reception
Color Vision: Ability to differentiate one color
from another
– Lack of ability = color blindness
– Combinations to which the eye is the most sensitive
• Black and white
• Black and yellow

Key in determining traffic signs colors


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Visual Reception
Glare Recovery: Ability to recover from the
effects of glare
• Dark to light : 3 seconds -- headlights in the eye
• Light to dark: 6 seconds – turning lights off
• Usually a concern for night driving, especially for
older drivers

Need to provide light transitions

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Visual Reception
Depth perception
– Ability to estimate speed and distance
• Passing on two-lane roads
• Signs are standardized to aid in perceiving
distance

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From GB:
Some 75-year old drivers require how many
times the more brightness at night to receive
visual information than a 25-year old driver?

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Some 75-year old drivers require how many
times more brightness at night (to receive the
same visual information) than a 25-year old
driver?

32 times
need 2x brightness for each decade past 25
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Hearing
Hearing perception
– Ability to detect warning sounds
– Sirens, horns

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Perception/Reaction Time

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Perception-Reaction Process

Perception
Identification

Emotion
Reaction (volition)
PIEV
Used for Signal Design and Braking Distance
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Perception-Reaction Process

Perception
– Sees or hears situation (sees deer)
Identification
– Identify situation (realizes deer is in road)
Emotion
– Decides on course of action (swerve, stop, change
lanes, etc)
Reaction (volition)
– Acts (time to start events in motion but not actually
do action)
• Foot begins to hit brake, not actual deceleration 21
Typical Perception-Reaction
time range is:
0.5 to 7 seconds
Affected by a number of factors.
What are they?

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Perception-Reaction Time Factors
Environment:
• Urban vs. Rural
• Night vs. Day
• Wet vs. Dry
Age
Physical Condition:
• Fatigue
• Drugs/Alcohol
Distractions

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Perception-Reaction Time Factors
medical condition
visual acuity
ability to see (lighting conditions, presence of fog, snow,
etc)
complexity of situation (more complex = more time)
complexity of necessary response
expected versus unexpected situation (traffic light
turning red vs. dog darting into road)

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Perception Reaction Time (PRT)

Time from Perception to Initial Reaction to


Stimulus (Example)

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Age

Older drivers
– May perceive
something as a
hazard but not act
quickly enough
– More difficulty
seeing, hearing,
reacting
– Drive slower

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Age
Younger drivers
– May be able to act quickly but not have experience to
recognize things as a hazard or be able to decide what
to do
– Drive faster
– Are unfamiliar with driving experience
– Are less apt to drive safely after a few drinks
– Are easily distracted by conversation and others inside
the vehicle
– May be more likely to operate faulty equipment
– Poorly developed risk perception
– Feel invincible, the "Superman Syndrome”
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Human Factors - Perception and Reaction
by Joseph E. Badger. jebadger@harristechnical.com
Alcohol

Affects each person differently


Slows reaction time
Increases risk taking
Dulls judgment
Slows decision-making
Presents peripheral vision difficulties

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Human Factors - Perception and Reaction
by Joseph E. Badger. jebadger@harristechnical.com
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From: Driver Characteristics and Impairment at Various BACs
H. Moskowitz, M. Burns, D. Fiorentino, A. Smiley, P. Zador
Experience

Even NASCAR drivers practice

Familiarity
Faster on familiar
Unfamiliar more distracted
– Rental car on unfamiliar road at 10 pm when it starts
to rain (What is the driver doing?)
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Weather

Fog
Rain
Ice
Snow
affects ability to see (snow, fog)
changes ability to stop (ice, snow, wet)

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Understanding

Flashing
DON’T
WALK

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Understanding

Count
down
signal

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Understanding

Most people do not reduce speed in a work


zone until they actually see activity
Only 78% of drivers in a study understood what
“Lane Ends” mean
Many people, especially older drivers, don’t
understand meaning of left turn displays

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Human Factors - Perception and Reaction
by Joseph E. Badger. jebadger@harristechnical.com
Fatigue

Increases perception/reaction time


Study by American Automobile
Association found that in 221 truck
accidents only 18.4% of the drivers had
been driving less than nine hours.
41% of truck accidents

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Human Factors - Perception and Reaction
by Joseph E. Badger. jebadger@harristechnical.com
Dp = 1.47(V)(t)
where:
Dp = Distance traveled during PIEV process
(feet)
V = velocity (mph)
t = perception-reaction time = 2.5s

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Example
How much longer does it take an impaired driver to
perceive/react than an unimpaired one at 65 mph?
Unimpaired has P/R time of 2.5 seconds
Dp = 1.47(V)(t) =
1.47(65 mph)(2.5 sec.) ~ 240 feet
Impaired Driver has P/R time of 4 seconds
Dp = 1.47(65 mph)(4 sec) ~ 380 feet

Difference is 380 – 240 = 140 feet


Difference is safety and economic problem!
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Perception/Reaction Applications

Stopping sight distance


Passing sight distance
Placement of signs/traffic control devices
Design of horizontal/vertical curves

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Driver Expectancy

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Driver Expectancy
Expectancy (def) – an inclination based on previous
experience to respond in a set manner to a roadway,
traffic, or information situation
Types
– A Priori – long-term (based on collective past
experience) PRT = 0.6s avg., some 2.0s
– Ad Hoc – short-term (based on site-specific
practices/situations encountered during a particular
trip on a particular roadway, PRT = 1.0s avg., some
2.7s

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Driver Expectancy
Driver Expectancies (what do we expect as
drivers?)
– Specific colors (red = stop)
– Driver ahead not to decelerate rapidly
– Slower drivers in right lane
– Work zone signs = people working
– Lane size
– Etc.

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Driver Expectancy
Reduce load on driver
Simplify driving task
Keep roadway environment within “expected parameter”
– Traffic control
• Consistent size, color, shape
– Design features – depends on functional class
• On freeways we expect 12-foot lanes
Can this foster complacency???

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Selection of Design Driver

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Design criteria must be
based on the capabilities
and limitations of most
drivers and pedestrians

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The 85th percentile is generally used
to select Design Criteria

The 95 th
percentile or higher is used
where the consequences of failure
are severe

AASHTO recommends 2.6 seconds


th
for stopping sight distance (90 ) 48
Role of Transportation Engineer

allow proper sight


distance in design, sign
placement
avoid hitting driver with
too much info at once
– one sign at a time
clarity (sign size, color,
reflectivity)

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Driver Activities in Selection of Path

Control (overt actions)


– Road Edge
– Avoid a Car
Guidance (decisions)
– Lane Placement
– Car Following
– Passing

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Driver Activities in Selection of Path Cont.

Navigation Level (planning)


– Maps
– Observe a directional sign

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Pedestrians

Characteristics similar to driver


Design of pedestrian facilities
Signal timing – get peds across during red phase

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Pedestrians

Walking Speed varies between 3 to 8 ft/sec

Design value is 4 ft/sec

Used to calculate safe pedestrians


crossing time
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Bicycles
On-road
Separate facilities
Similar to driver (perception-reaction)
Divided by AASHTO into 3 classes
– Class A: experienced or advanced bicyclists
• Consider bike as a vehicle and ride comfortably with traffic
• Usually not allowed on freeways
– Class B: less experienced bicyclists
• Usually prefer neighborhood streets and bike facilities
– Class C: children on their own or with parents
• Mainly residential

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