Effects of weather conditions, light conditions, and road lighting on vehicle speed

Download
Annika K Jägerbrand
Jonas Sjöbergh

Light conditions are known to affect the number of vehicle accidents and fatalities but the relationship between light conditions and vehicle speed is not fully understood. This study examined whether vehicle speed on roads is higher in daylight and under road lighting than in darkness, and determined the combined effects of light conditions, posted speed limit and weather conditions on driving speed. The vehicle speed of passenger cars in different light conditions (daylight, twilight, darkness, artificial light) and different weather conditions (clear weather, rain, snow) was determined using traffic and weather data collected on an hourly basis for approximately 2 years (1 September 2012–31 May 2014) at 25 locations in Sweden (17 with road lighting and eight without). In total, the data included almost 60 million vehicle passes. The data were cleaned by removing June, July, and August, which have different traffic patterns than the rest of the year. Only data from the periods 10:00 A.M.–04:00 P.M. and 06:00 P.M.–10:00 P.M. were used, to remove traffic during rush hour and at night. Multivariate adaptive regression splines was used to evaluate the overall influence of independent variables on vehicle speed and nonparametric statistical testing was applied to test for speed differences between dark–daylight, dark–twilight, and twilight–daylight, on roads with and without road lighting. The results show that vehicle speed in general depends on several independent variables. Analyses of vehicle speed and speed differences between daylight, twilight and darkness, with and without road lighting, did not reveal any differences attributable to light conditions. However, vehicle speed decreased due to rain or snow and the decrease was higher on roads without road lighting than on roads with lighting. These results suggest that the strong association between traffic accidents and darkness or low light conditions could be explained by drivers failing to adjust their speed to the reduced visibility in dark conditions.

MEET US


5-6
Dec

Vision Zero for Sustainable Road Safety in the Baltic Sea Region

The conference Vision Zero for Sustainable Road Safety in the Baltic Sea Region is held i Vilnius, Lithuania. VTI is part of the organisation committé and also one of the speakers.

LATEST NEWS


2018-10-05

Users contribute to the development of train simulators

Apart from advanced driving simulators, VTI has developed several variations of train simulators which are used for training, education and research. In recent years, interest has increased drastically among major actors in the railway sector, and VTI has...


2018-10-03

VR study to contribute to a better working environment for bus drivers

A study where bus drivers test autonomous driving in a VR environment may contribute to a better working environment with reduced stress on the driver and safer driving.


2018-10-02

Non-native plant species spread via transport systems

Researchers at VTI have compiled a report on non-native invasive plant species in Sweden and how they spread via transport systems.


2018-09-20

EU-project VIRTUAL: improving road safety with virtual crash tests

Crash tests are used to improve safety on roads. Therefore the EU now funds a research project to develop virtual methods of crash testing. VTI coordinates the project, called VIRTUAL. The project now invites experts interested in Human Body Modeling to join...


2018-08-28

EU project protects cyclists and pedestrians

According to the World Health Organisation, more than one quarter of road traffic fatalities in 2010 were pedestrians and cyclists. Every year, about 335,000 unprotected road users die because of traffic accidents, which shows the scale of the problem. The EU...


2018-08-21

Swedish organisations in EU project on traffic safety and crash testing

Crash safety testing is one of the tools used to improve safety on roads. The EU is therefore funding a research project that started recently to develop virtual methods of crash testing. The long-term goal is to supplement the physical evaluation of crash...