Field Relevance of the New Car Assessment Program Lane Departure Warning Confirmation Test 2012-01-0284
The availability of active safety systems, such as Lane Departure Warning (LDW), has recently been added as a rating factor in the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The objective of this study is to determine the relevance of the NCAP LDW confirmation test to real-world road departure crashes. This study is based on data collected as part of supplemental crash reconstructions performed on 890 road departure collisions from the National Automotive Sampling System, Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS). Scene diagrams and photographs were examined to determine the lane departure and lane marking characteristics not available in the original data. The results suggest that the LDW confirmation test captures many of the conditions observed in real-world road departures. For example, 40% of all single vehicle collisions in the dataset involved a drift-out-of-lane type of departures represented by the test. Also, the median total departure velocity for vehicles was 78.9 kph, which is close to the 72.4 kph (45 mph) specified in the LDW test. However, there are some aspects of real-world road departures not included in the test. For example, the test is performed in daylight yet nearly half of all road departure crashes (42%) occurred in the dark. Furthermore, the LDW test is only performed on straight road segments, which corresponds to 48% of real-world departures. The departure speed specified in the LDW test is 0.5 m/s (1.1 mph) whereas the mean lateral departure speed in real world crashes was 4.3 m/s (9.5 mph). Of the examined cases, the LDW test is applicable to approximately 23% of no maneuver road departures, which corresponds to 9% of all single vehicle collisions. Including dark lighting conditions and curved road segments would increase the applicability to 65% of no maneuver departures and 26% of all single vehicle collisions. These results can be applied to the design of future LDW performance tests.