Driver Attitudes and Behaviors at Intersections and Potential Effectiveness of Engineering Countermeasures

Source: Battelle Human Factors Transportation Center, Federal Highway Administration

Four focus groups were conducted at each of three test sites: Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; and Seattle, WA. At each site, the four groups corresponded to the age/gender characteristics identified as important to this project. The four groups were:

  • 18- to 35-year-old female drivers only.
  • 18- to 35-year-old male drivers only.
  • 35- to 55-year-old drivers of both genders.
  • 65+-year-old drivers of both genders.

At each site, the focus groups took place over two separate evenings, with two focus groups conducted per evening. A total of 119 individuals participated in the focus groups. The effort focused on identifying driver attitudes and behaviors with respect to four intersection scenarios: (1) red-light running, (2) left turns at busy intersections, (3) turning left onto a major road with moderate traffic, and (4) rear-end crashes. For each of these four scenarios, results and conclusions relevant to the following key questions are developed and presented:

  • What are drivers most likely to do in this scenario?
  • Why do drivers engage in these behaviors?
  • What engineering countermeasures have the most promise for improving traffic safety?

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