A Pilot Study on Mitigating Run-Off-Road Crashes


Christopher Edwards, Michael Manser

July 2013

Report no. CTS 13-23

Run off the road crashes account for approximately 50% of motor vehicle related fatalities on a national and on a state level. To address this unacceptably high rate of fatalities this pilot project first sought to identify the primary factors associated with run off the road crashes and identify limitations and shortcomings of existing countermeasures. This was accomplished through the development of a taxonomy that summarized existing engineering related and human factors related literature according to infrastructure, environment, and driver related factors that have been found to be most associated with run off the road crash-related fatalities. Based on the taxonomy results a new potentially useful countermeasure was identified that consisted of a haptic and auditory feedback. The pilot project then sought to develop and then evaluate a series of prototype countermeasure systems based on haptic and auditory feedback presented either individually or in parallel. The primary results of the driving environment simulator study in which participants drove through a series of realistic worlds experiencing the countermeasures in response to lane departure events found that the presentation of multiple countermeasure systems can provide increased user satisfaction but can also increase driver response times to critical situations. Secondary results of the study suggest that the haptic countermeasures can provide additional information to drivers but that it may not be interpreted by drivers as expected by designers.

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ITS Institute (RITA)