Driver Response to Roadway Intrusion at Night
European Association of Accident Research and Analysis
Co-Author(s):Christopher Armstrong, Stein Husher, John C. Steiner, Michael Varat
A dark object in the path of a vehicle at night is a challenge for a driver to detect and respond to. Many factors influence the driver’s ability to perform this task. These include: roadway configuration, environmental conditions, driver physiology and object characteristics. This study analyzes the relative distance between a driver discerning an object in the roadway during nighttime conditions and the driver‘s response.
This study involves 25 un-alerted, but attentive drivers approaching a dark object in their path at speeds ranging from 63 to 113 kph (39 to 70 mph). The test vehicle was driven on a closed course with drivers participating in an unrelated night driving exercise. During the exercise a dark object was placed in the path of the subject driver’s vehicle. The driver‘s responses, response times and distances from the object were monitored and reported.