The paper reports the outcomes of an experimental study carried out using an interactive fixed-base driving simulator. The research was aimed at analyzing the driver behavior in passing maneuver for different traffic conditions on two lane rural roads. A two-lane rural road of more than 8 km in length was designed and implemented in the driving simulator. The alignment was designed with tangents from 200 to 1000 m long, clothoids and curves with radii from 215 to 1000 m. Four different traffic conditions in terms of traffic volume and speeds of opposing vehicles and impeding vehicles were simulated. Thirty-two drivers drove in the simulator on the four scenarios. The data collected during the driving was analyzed in order to determine the following parameters of passing behavior: a) following gap between the passing vehicle and the impeding vehicle at the beginning of the passing; b) distance of passing; c) Time to Collision between the passing vehicle and the oncoming vehicle at the end of the maneuver. The influence of the traffic conditions on such parameters was evaluated. Potential applications of the obtained results include the modelling of driver behavior and the passing sight distance design criteria.
Keywords: driving simulation; driver behavior; road safety; passing maneuver