1994-03-01

Advanced Indication of Braking: A Practical Safety Measure for Improvement of Decision-Reaction Time for Avoidance of Rear-End Collisions 940644

The objective of this paper is to show that an Advance Brakelights Warning System (ABWS) device improves the detection-reaction time for avoidance of Rear-End collisions and to recommend its installation.In the United States, according to National Accident Sampling System Data, Rear-End collisions constitute approximately 25 per cent of all multi-vehicle accidents (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1992). Therefore it is not surprising that over the past 25 years much research has been devoted to evaluating alternative vehicle rear lighting, signaling, and brake systems that would enhance their conspicuousness and visibility, thus inducing quicker accident avoidance maneuvers from following drivers. This line of research culminated in the development, evaluation, demonstration of effectiveness, and, finally, implementation of the Center High-Mounted Stop Light (CHMSL) as part of the mandatory US Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108.But the quest to find the ultimate response to the problem of Rear-End crash consequences did not end and will probably never end. The newly-emerging IVHS project is an example of the continued search for safety solutions. The overriding goal is to improve drivers' ability to process the collision-avoidance-perception-detection response to about-to-stop vehicles. Because the most recent and sophisticated approach to the problem is based on the assumption of differential human behavior for abrupt versus regular braking, an alternative approach consists of developing Advance Brakelights Warning Systems (ABWS). This paper shows that such a system provides the optimal solution available today to Rear-End collisions caused by tailgating, in terms of cost/performance/public acceptability ratio.The Advance Brakelights Warning System (ABWS) provides an anticipatory activation of vehicle signaling* lights in response to the detection of the driver's intention to brake. Another attractive feature of ABWS is that while its operation is indistinguishable from actual emergency braking, it precedes it by approximately a quarter of a second. The implementation of this approach is embodied in the ABWS anticipatory activation devices providing following drivers with an early warning coupled with improved perception-detection of the leading vehicle's imminent braking.What makes the ABWS device unique is its simplicity, ease of installation, After-Market (Do-It-Yourself) and OEM adaptability, non-interference with the car's human engineering, its low cost and availability.

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