Q. Hussain, A. Pirdavani, C. Ariën, T. Brijs, W. Alhajyaseen

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Pages: 83-96

Abstract
This driving simulator study investigated the impact of perceptual countermeasures on driving behavior by creating perceptual effects via pavement markings. Two different marking schemes (i.e. Optical Circles and Optical Bars) were tested separately for road transitions between rural and urban areas where the speed limit reduces from 70 kph to 50 kph. The tested treatments were intended to achieve combined perceptual effects (i.e. increase drivers’ attention, perceptual speed and perceptual road narrowing effect) independently. Data were analyzed for 44 participants (30 men and 14 female). The study results showed that the speed was reduced significantly for both road marking treatments, however, the Optical Circle scenario in which circles with increasing size were implemented was the most effective solution. Moreover, standard deviation of acceleration/deceleration and lateral position were not found to be significant due to the treatments. This indicates that drivers did not decelerate or evade vehicles unsafely when confronting the road markings. The obtained results recommend Optical Circles to policy makers for further evaluation as a low-cost speed management tool.
Keywords: driving behavior; driving simulator; optical circles; perceptual measures; road safety; urban area