Following behaviour behind semi-trailers and b-doubles is similar on a motorway section

Lennie, Sandra C. & Bunker, Jonathan M. (2006) Following behaviour behind semi-trailers and b-doubles is similar on a motorway section. Transport Engineering in Australia, 10(2), pp. 73-85.

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Abstract

Multi-combination vehicles (MCVs) in urban areas are known to impact on productivity, safety, infrastructure wear, congestion and the environment. They may also change the behaviour of the surrounding road users influencing vehicle position. A review of literature revealed little information on the psychological effects of heavy vehicles on other road users and in particular those of MCVs. This paper examines the following behaviour of passenger car drivers behind different vehicle types to extend the understanding of psychological impacts of heavy vehicles.

A testing program was undertaken to observe passenger car behaviour around MCVs in a lateral and longitudinal sense. Video footage was collected on a four lane divided urban motorway section that provides access to the Port of Brisbane, Australia. This section was level, straight and away from any ramp junctions. It experiences high traffic volumes with a one-way AADT of approximately 33,500. The route is currently designated for B-doubles, which is the most common MCV in Australian urban areas.

There was a trend for passenger car drivers to increase their following times as the preceding vehicle size increased; however there was generally no statistically significant difference. Following behaviour was, statistically different between the left and right lanes.

This research is expected to aid road authorities in deciding whether MCV access is suitable to specific routes. The behaviour of surrounding passenger cars affects capacity through the headways they adopt when following a vehicle. If following gaps are larger behind MCVs such as B-Doubles, then vehicle capacity decreases. This reduction in capacity must be realised by the road authorities in the authorisation of MCV access.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 5359
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Self-archiving of the author-version is not yet supported by this publisher. For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author. Author contact details: j.bunker@qut.edu.au
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Keywords: Multi, combination vehicle, MCV, B, double, semi, trailer, heavy vehicle, truck, driver behaviour, following behaviour, time gap, headway, motorway, freeway
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Engineers Media
Deposited On: 31 Oct 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:18

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