Transportation & Vehicle Safety Policy

The Potential Value of a Front-to-Rear-End Collision Warning System Based on Factors of Driver Behavior, Visual Perception and Brake Reaction Time

McGehee, D.V.; Dingus, T.A.; Horowitz, A.B.

Abstract

The potential value of a front-to-rear-end collision warning system based on factors of driver behavior, visual perception and brake reaction time is examined in this paper. Twenty-four percent of all motor vehicle crashes involving two or more vehicles are front-to-rear-end collisions. These collisions demonstrate that several driver performance factors are common. The literature indicates that drivers use the relative size and the visual angle of the vehicle ahead when making judgments regarding depth. In addition, drivers often have difficulty gauging velocity differences and depth cues between themselves and the vehicle they are following. Finally, drivers often follow at distances that are closer than brake-reaction time permits for accident avoidance. It is apparent that the comfort level of close following behavior increases over time due to the rarity of consequences. Experience also teaches drivers that the vehicle in front does not suddenly slow down very often. On the basis of these driver behavior and human performance issues, a front-to-rear-end collision warning system that provides headway/following distance and velocity change information is considered. Based on the driver performance issues, display design recommendations are outlined. The value of such a device may be demonstrated by the added driver safety and situation awareness provided. The long-term goal would ultimately be the reduction of one of the most frequent type of automobile crashes.

Citation

McGehee DV, Dingus TA, Horowitz AB. The Potential Value of a Front-to-Rear-End Collision Warning System Based on Factors of Driver Behavior, Visual Perception and Brake Reaction Time. In: The 36th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors Society. Published in the Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors Society.; 1992:1003-1005.