Driver Behaviour at Roadworks
Authors: Guy Walker, Malcolm Calvert
Abstract: Road networks around the world are reaching a critical stage in their lifecycle. Typically constructed in the 1960’s and 70’s, many of the structures, now over forty years old, require increasingly significant levels of maintenance in order to ensure their continued integrity and performance. Many national transport authorities while planning ahead for this use traffic microsimulation models to help them predict the likely effects of associated roadwork on traffic flow. The challenge faced is that these models consistently under-predict traffic flows, and the resultant queue lengths, even though there is nothing fundamentally different from a speed or lane restriction for roadworks compared to those used in other normal circumstances. The reasons for this over-prediction or under-prediction are that ‘real’ traffic behaves differently from ‘modelled’ traffic. This paper explores these differences with reference to a case study example, reviews the psychological literature for explanatory factors, and uses this to propose new guidelines for how models should be designed and calibrated for improved accuracy. In the case study presented in this paper, approximately a lane’s worth of capacity is being lost due to ‘soft’ driver behaviour factors. This paper helps to explain why this is happening and how it can be recovered.
Keywords: Roadworks, Traffic Management, Driver Behaviour, Traffic Microsimulation.
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