Gap acceptance behavior of mobile phone distracted drivers at roundabouts

Haque, Md. Mazharul, Oviedo-Trespalacios, Óscar, Debnath, Ashim Kumar, & Washington, Simon (2016) Gap acceptance behavior of mobile phone distracted drivers at roundabouts. Transportation Research Record, 2602.

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While mobile phones have become ubiquitous in modern society, the use of mobile phones while driving is increasing at an alarming rate despite the associated crash risks. A significant safety concern is that driving while distracted by a mobile phone is more prevalent among young drivers, a less experienced driving cohort with elevated crash risk. The objective of this study was to examine the gap acceptance behavior of distracted young drivers at roundabouts. The CARRS-Q Advanced Driving Simulator was used to test participants on a simulated gap acceptance scenario at roundabouts. Conflicting traffic from the right approach of a four-legged roundabout were programmed to have a series of vehicles having the gaps between them proportionately increased from two to six seconds. Thirty-two licensed young drivers drove the simulator under three phone conditions: baseline (no phone conversation), hands-free and handheld phone conversations. Results show that distracted drivers started responding to the gap acceptance scenario at a distance closer to the roundabout and approached the roundabout at slower speeds. They also decelerated at faster rates to reduce their speeds prior to gap acceptance compared to non-distracted drivers. Although accepted gap sizes were not significantly different across phone conditions, differences in the safety margins at various gap sizes—measured by Post Encroachment Time (PET) between the driven vehicle and the conflicting vehicle—were statistically significant across phone conditions. PETs for distracted drivers were smaller across different gap sizes, suggesting a lower safety margin taken by distracted drivers compared to non-distracted drivers. The results aid in understanding how cognitive distraction resulting from mobile phone conversations while driving influences driving behavior during gap acceptance at roundabouts.

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ID Code: 93364
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Roundabouts, Gap acceptance, Mobile phone distraction, Advanced driving simulator, Driver behavior
DOI: 10.3141/2602-06
ISSN: 0361-1981
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Facilities: CARRS-Q Advanced Driving Simulator
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Transportation Research Board (US)
Deposited On: 03 Mar 2016 04:07
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2016 06:21

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