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Modelling Safety-Related Driving Behaviour - the Impact of Parameter Values

Bonsall, P.W., Liu, R. and Young, W. (2005) Modelling Safety-Related Driving Behaviour - the Impact of Parameter Values. Transportation Research A, 39 (5). pp. 425-444.

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Traffic simulation models make assumptions about the safety-related behaviour of drivers. These assumptions may or may not replicate the real behaviour of those drivers who adopt seemingly unsafe behaviour, for example running red lights at signalised intersections or too closely following the vehicles in front. Such behaviour results in the performance of the system that we observe but will often result in conflicts and very occasionally in accidents. The question is whether these models should reflect safe behav- iour or actual behaviour. Good design should seek to enhance safety, but is the safety of a design neces- sarily enhanced by making unrealistically optimistic assumptions about the safety of drivers behaviour? This paper explores the questions associated with the choice of values for safety-related parameters in simulation models. The paper identifies the key parameters of traffic simulation models and notes that sev- eral of them have been derived from theory or informed guesswork rather than observation of real behav- iour and that, even where they are based on observations, these may have been conducted in circumstances quite different to those which now apply. Tests with the micro-simulation model DRACULA demonstrate the sensitivity of model predictions—and perhaps policy decisions—to the value of some of the key param- eters. It is concluded that, in general, it is better to use values that are realistic-but-unsafe than values that are safe-but-unrealistic. Although the use of realistic-but-unsafe parameter values could result in the adop- tion of unsafe designs, this problem can be overcome by paying attention to the safety aspects of designs. The possibility of using traffic simulation models to culties involved in doing so are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: This uncorrected proof has been uploaded with the permsission of Elsevier Science, the copyright holders. Please visit their website for the corrected version.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Adrian May
Date Deposited: 17 May 2007
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 08:20
Published Version: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658...
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.tra.2005.02.002
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2487

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