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Title: Does the effect of traffic calming measures endure over time? – A simulator study on the influence of gates
Authors: ARIEN, Caroline 
BRIJS, Kris 
VANROELEN, Giovanni 
JONGEN, Ellen 
WETS, Geert 
Issue Date: 2013
Source: Proceedings of the road safety and simulation conference
Abstract: Accident statistics show that transitions from rural to urban areas are accident prone locations. Inappropriate speed and mental underload have been identified as important causal factors on such transitions. A variety of traffic calming measures (TCM) near rural-urban transitions has been tested in field experiments and driving simulator studies. Simulator experiments where drivers are exposed a single TCM in one session are well reported in the literature. However, the extents to which drivers’ behavior will be consistent over time when exposed to the same treatment over time are relatively scare and unclear. This study examined drivers behavior when exposed to the same treatment (a gate construction located at a rural-urban transition). Over a period of five successive days, seventeen participants completed a 17 km test-drive on a driving simulator with two thoroughfare configurations (gates present or absent) in a within-subject design. Results indicate that gates induced a local speed reduction that sustained over this five-day period. The effect on standard deviation of acceleration/deceleration and lateral position was rather limited. Overall we conclude that gate constructions have the potential to improve traffic safety in the direct vicinity of rural-urban transitions, even if drivers are repeatedly exposed. Notwithstanding, we advise policy makers to appropriately use this measure. Best is to always carefully consider the broader situational context (such as whether the road serves a traffic- rather than a residential function) of each particular location where the implementation of a gate construction is one of the options.
Keywords: traffic calming measures; gates; rural-urban transitions; driving simulator; repeated exposure
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Category: C2
Type: Proceedings Paper
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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