Introduction Under the connected vehicle environment, vehicles will be able to exchange traffic information with roadway infrastructure and other vehicles. With such information, collision warning systems (CWSs) will be able to warn drivers with potentially hazardous situations within or out of sight and reduce collision accidents. The lead time of warning messages is a crucial factor in determining the effectiveness of CWSs in the prevention of traffic accidents. Accordingly, it is necessary to understand the effects of lead time on driving behaviors and explore the optimal lead time in various collision scenarios. Methods The present driving simulator experiment studied the effects of controlled lead time at 16 levels (predetermined time headway from the subject vehicle to the collision location when the warning message broadcasted to a driver) on driving behaviors in various collision scenarios. Results Maximum effectiveness of warning messages was achieved when the controlled lead time was within the range of 5 s to 8 s. Specifically, the controlled lead time ranging from 4 s to 8 s led to the optimal safety benefit; and the controlled lead time ranging from 5 s to 8 s led to more gradual braking and shorter reaction time. Furthermore, a trapezoidal distribution of warning effectiveness was found by building a statistic model using curve estimation considering lead time, lifetime driving experience, and driving speed. Conclusions The results indicated that the controlled lead time significantly affected driver performance. Practical applications The findings have implications for the design of collision warning systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality