A Driving Simulator Evaluation of Driver Distraction and Traffic Control Device Comprehension for At-Grade Railroad Crossings

Funding Source: UTC

Title: A Driving Simulator Evaluation of Driver Distraction and Traffic Control Device Comprehension for At-Grade Railroad Crossings

Date:

Status: Current

Summary: Using the recently created rail database, participants will drive virtual scenarios in the driving simulator, with eight non-gated grade crossings present. While distracted, participants will be given turn by turn instructions to simulate a Global Positioning System (GPS). As participants approach the scenarios, an auditory in-vehicle cue will be provided to driver to alert of the presence of an at-grade train crossing. Since the cue does not indicate the presence or absence of a train, participants will be expected to physically look for a train as they approach the crossing. It is important to study 1) the type of cue that may be best suited for these situations, 2) the timeliness of these warnings and 3) the type of behavior these cues elicit from the driver. Previous research on auditory alerts (Wiese & Lee, 2002) suggests that beyond the effect on driving performance, alerts which are inappropriately used can annoy drivers and decrease their acceptance of in-vehicle warning systems.

Team: Mike Knodler, Don Fisher

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