Modifying Driver Following Behaviour with a Real-Time Headway Evaluation System
Tailgating (maintaining an inadequate headway) is a major road safety concern that emerges because drivers tend to misperceive their following distance. Drivers seldom receive enough feedback to correct this error, leaving them vulnerable to rear-end collisions. While there have been attempts to address this issue through vehicle automation and warning systems, these approaches have not been sensitive to the needs of young drivers. The present investigation sought to implement a headway evaluation system: an in-vehicle display designed to provide motorists with real-time as well as aggregate headway feedback. This system was designed to teach drivers to recognize safe headways and to motivate adherence. Compared to drivers selecting their own headway or those attempting to count a two second headway, drivers using the headway evaluation system maintained longer headways that would be conducive to collision avoidance. This system may be beneficial as a training device for new drivers.