Adaptation longitudinal driving behavior, mental workload, and psycho-spacing models in fog

Raymond G. Hoogendoorn, Serge P. Hoogendoorn, Karel A. Brookhuis, Winnie Daamen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Adverse weather conditions have a substantial effect on traffic flow. However, the adaptation effects in longitudinal driving behavior that underlie this impact are unclear, as are the determinants. A driving simulator experiment was performed with a repeated-measures design and 25 participants. The adaptation effects in actual longitudinal driving behavior and the physiological indicators of mental workload (i.e., heart rate and heart rate variability) were measured under two conditions: normal visibility and fog. Significant adaptation effects in longitudinal driving behavior and a significant increase in mental workload were observed. A new estimation method was used to investigate the extent to which fog influenced the position of so-called action points in the (Δv, s) plane of a psycho-spacing model, where Δv was relative speed and s was spacing. In addition, multivariate regression analysis was applied to investigate the extent to which an influence could be observed on acceleration and on jumps in acceleration at the action points. Large differences in the positions of action points in the (Δv, s) plane, acceleration, and jumps in acceleration were observed between conditions; therefore, car-following patterns closely resemble those predicted by psycho-spacing theory. However, a large degree of inter-and intradriver heterogeneity was observed, possibly caused by differences in mental workload within and between drivers. This heterogeneity indicates that the assumption of deterministic perceptual thresholds is unrealistic and necessitates the development of a data-driven stochastic model based on the principles of psycho-spacing models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2249
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

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