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Journal Article

Method for Estimating Time to Collision at Braking in Real-World, Lead Vehicle Stopped Rear-End Crashes for Use in Pre-Crash System Design

This study presents a method for determining the time to collision (TTC) at which a driver of the striking vehicle in a real-world, lead vehicle stopped (LVS) rear-end collision applied the brakes. The method employs real-world cases that were extracted from the National Automotive Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System (NASS / CDS) years 2000 to 2009. Selected cases had an Event Data Recorder (EDR) recovered from the striking vehicle that contained pre-crash vehicle speed and brake application. Of 59 cases with complete EDR records, 12 cases (20%) of drivers appeared not to apply the brakes at all prior to the collision. The method was demonstrated using 47 rear-end cases in which there was driver braking. The average braking deceleration for those cases with sufficient vehicle speed information was found to be 0.52 g's. The average TTC that braking was initiated at was found to vary in the sample population from 1.1 to 1.4 seconds.
Journal Article

Characterization of Lane Departure Crashes Using Event Data Recorders Extracted from Real-World Collisions

Lane Departure Warning (LDW) is a production active safety system that can warn drivers of an unintended departure. Critical in the design of LDW and other departure countermeasures is understanding pre-crash driver behavior in crashes. The objective of this study was to gain insight into pre-crash driver behavior in departure crashes using Event Data Recorders (EDRs). EDRs are units equipped on many passenger vehicles that are able to store vehicle data, including pre-crash data in many cases. This study used 256 EDRs that were downloaded from GM vehicles involved in real-world lane departure collisions. The crashes were investigated as part of the NHTSA's NASS/CDS database years 2000 to 2011. Nearly half of drivers (47%) made little or no change to their vehicle speed prior to the collision and slightly fewer decreased their speed (43%). Drivers who did not change speed were older (median age 41) compared to those who decreased speed (median age 27).
Technical Paper

Development of Auditory Warning Signals for Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks occur with sufficient frequency that they are a cause of concern within regulatory agencies. In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks which resulted in 135 fatalities. As part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) goal of reducing the overall number of truck crashes, the Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Researchers also utilized what had been learned in the rear-end crash avoidance work with light vehicles that was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) serving as the prime research organization. ERS crash countermeasures investigated included passive conspicuity markings, visual signals, and auditory signals.
Journal Article

Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes with the use of Rear-Lighting Countermeasures

In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks (i.e., gross vehicle weight greater than 4,536 kg). The Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Visual warnings have been shown to be effective, assuming the following driver is looking directly at the warning display or has his/her eyes drawn to it. A visual warning can be placed where it is needed and it can be designed so that its meaning is nearly unambiguous. FMCSA contracted with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to investigate potential benefit of additional rear warning-light configurations as rear-end crash countermeasures for heavy trucks.
Technical Paper

Target Population for Injury Reduction from Pre-Crash Systems

Pre-Crash Systems (PCS) integrate the features of active and passive safety systems to reduce both crash and injury severity. Upon detection of an impending collision, PCS can provide an early warning to the driver and activate automatic braking to reduce the crash severity for the subject vehicle. PCS can also activate the seatbelt pretensioners prior to impact. This paper identifies the opportunities for injury prevention in crash types for which PCS can be potentially activated. These PCS applicable crash types include rear-end crashes, single vehicle crashes into objects (trees, poles, structures, parked vehicles), and head-on crashes. PCS can benefit the occupants of both the striking and struck vehicle. In this paper, the opportunity for injury reduction in the struck vehicle is also tabulated. The study is based upon the analysis of approximately 20,000 frontal crash cases extracted from NASS / CDS 1997-2008.
Technical Paper

EcoRouting Strategy Using Variable Acceleration Rate Synthesis Methodology

This paper focuses on the analysis of an EcoRouting system with minimum and maximum number of conditional stops. The effect on energy consumption with the presence and absence of road-grade information along a route is also studied. An EcoRouting system has been developed that takes in map information and converts it to a graph of nodes containing route information such as speed limits, stop lights, stop signs and road grade. A variable acceleration rate synthesis methodology is also introduced in this paper that takes into consideration distance, acceleration, cruise speed and jerk rate as inputs to simulate driver behavior on a given route. A simulation study is conducted in the town of Blacksburg, Virginia, USA to analyze the effects of EcoRouting in different driving conditions and to examine the effects of road grade and stop lights on energy consumption.
Technical Paper

Methodology for Estimating the Benefits of Lane Departure Warnings using Event Data Recorders

Road departures are one of the most deadly crash modes, accounting for nearly one third of all crash fatalities in the US. Lane departure warning (LDW) systems can warn the driver of the departure and lane departure prevention (LDP) systems can steer the vehicle back into the lane. One purpose of these systems is to reduce the quantity of road departure crashes. This paper presents a method to predict the maximum effectiveness of these systems. Thirty-nine (39) real world crashes from the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) Crashworthiness Data System (CDS) database were reconstructed using pre-crash velocities downloaded for each case from the vehicle event data recorder (EDR). The pre-crash velocities were mapped onto the vehicle crash trajectory. The simulations assumed a warning was delivered when the lead tire crossed the lane line. Each case was simulated twice with driver reaction times of 0.38 s and 1.36 s after which time the driver began steering back toward the road.