Investigating dangerous overtaking manoeuvres: the effect of road design elements on the psychological state of drivers

De Jager, Tremayne M. (2019-04)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The field of traffic psychology as an independent and leading discipline in road safety research is still fairly young, as the first issue of Transportation Research Part F was only released in 1998, yet it has grown tremendously over the past two decades and numerous studies within this field have since been conducted. The most prominent argument seems to be regarding the risk compensation theory and whether or not drivers purposefully take risks on the road. Parallel to this, numerous studies have also been conducted on the in uence of personality and psychology on driver behaviour. Within these, some have noted that the roadway and environmental elements surrounding the roadway in uences the psychological state of drivers, even to the extent as to affect the behaviour of individuals. In this study, the effect of road design elements on drivers' choice to conduct dangerous overtaking manoeuvres is investigated. Many have discussed the effect of roadway elements on the psychological state of drivers, but few have considered which roadway elements contribute to drivers conducting dangerous overtaking manoeuvres and therefore this study aimed to fill this gap. The main objective of this study was achieved by analysing vehicle speed data, traffic volume data, accident data and also observing driver behaviour on three selected roadway sections. The three road sections that were selected were all two-lane, undivided class 2 (major arterial) rural roads. This allowed for the identification of locations along the roadway sections at which drivers exhibited more dangerous behaviour. Furthermore the roadway design elements present at these identified locations were recorded and analysed in order to determine which elements contributed to drivers conducting dangerous overtaking manoeuvres. It was found that two road design elements and one environmental element indeed contributed to drivers conducting dangerous overtaking manoeuvres. The first roadway element is the posted speed limit and the effect thereof on the psychological state of drivers and the second was the placement of road markings permitting or prohibiting overtaking. The first environmental element was the behaviour of other drivers in the vicinity. It was discovered that a wrongly applied combination of these three factors often led to drivers conducting dangerous overtaking manoeuvre.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die veld van verkeersielkunde as 'n onafhanklike en toonaangewende dissipline in padveiligheidsnavorsing is steeds relatiewe 'jonk', met die eerste weergawe van 'Transportation Research Part F' of 'Vervoer Navorsing Deel F' wat vir die eerste keer in 1998 uitgebring is. Sedertdien het hierdie veld geweldig gegroei oor en talle studies in hierdie veld is reeds uitgevoer. Die mees prominente argument binne hierdie veld blyk te wees met betrekking tot die risiko vergoedingsteorie (risk compensation theory in engels) en of bestuurders doelbewus risiko's op die pad inneem. Parallel hiermee is talle studies ook uitgevoer oor die invloed van persoonlikheid en sielkunde op die gedrag van bestuurders. Met hierdie studies het sommige opgemerk dat die pad-en omgewingselemente rondom die pad die sielkundige toestand van bestuurders benvloed, selfs tot die mate om die gedrag van individue te benvloed. In hierdie studie word die effek van padontwerp-elemente op bestuurders se keuse om gevaarlike verbysteek bewegings uit te voer, ondersoek. Baie navorsers het reeds die effek van padelemente op die sielkundige toestand van bestuurders bespreuk, maar min het die moontlike pad-elemente was mmontlik kan bydra tot bestturders wat gevaarlike verbysteek bewegings uitvoer, oorweeg en daarom het hierdie studie gemik om daardie gaping te vul. Die hoof doel van hierdie studie is behaal deur die ontleding van voertuie se spoeddata, verkeersvolume data, ongeluksdata en die waarneming van bestuurders se gedrag op drie geselekteerde paaie. Al drie van die verkose paaie was tweerigting, onverdeelde, klas 2 (hoof arterile), landelike paaie. Die ontleding van die data voorheen genoem het dit moontlik gemaak om plekke op die paaie te identifiseer waar bestuurders gevaarliker gedrag uitgeoefen het. Verder is die verskeie padontwerp-elemente teenwoordig by hierdie gedentifiseerde liggings aangeteken en ontleed om te bepaal watter elemente bygedra het tot bestuurders wat gevaarlike verbysteek bewegings uitvoer. Daar is bevind dat twee padontwerp-elemente en een omgewingselement inderdaad bygedra het tot bestuurders wat gevaarlike verbysteek bewegings uitvoer. Die eerste padontwerp-element is die aangeduide spoedgrens en die e ek daarvan op die sielkundige toestand van bestuurders en die tweede is die ligging/plasing van padtekens wat verbysteek bewegings toelaat of verbied. Die omgewingselement wat bygedra het tot gevaarlike gedrag van bestruurders, was die gedrad van ander bestuurderd in die omgewing. Die is bevind dat 'n verkeerd toegepaste kombinasie van hierdie drie faktore daartoe gelei het dat bestuurders gevaarlike verbysteek bewegings uitvoer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106180
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