Normal Pedal Activation in Real World Situations 2011-01-0551
This study reports pedal activation forces and typical acceleration and deceleration rates during everyday driving activities. Twenty subjects of varying ages, height and weight participated in the study. Each subject was asked to drive a four-door sedan along 2.3 miles of roadway in DuPage County, Illinois. Vehicle speed, acceleration, and position were measured using a global positioning system that was synchronized with force data collected from load cells rigidly mounted on the vehicle's accelerator and brake pedals. Pedal forces and vehicle behavior were measured during common driving tasks such as, shifting the transmission into reverse, backing out of a parking spot, and, making a right hand turn from a stop sign. Our data suggests that simple vehicle dynamic tasks produced in experimental settings may not reliably reproduce vehicle and occupant behavior. The pattern of brake pedal force when decelerating to a stop sign was usually not constant; but instead, displayed a dip, indicating that occupants were modulating their brake application. Also, the acceleration and deceleration rates recorded in this study were within the lower range of standard passenger acceleration rates used in accident reconstruction. The results from this study add to the body of literature on normal acceleration rates of passenger car during typical driving maneuvers.