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


7
Dec

Shipping and the environment – research meets reality

Centre for Transport Studies (CTS) in co-operation with Ports of Stockholm invite you to the seminar Shipping and the environment – research meets reality.

LATEST NEWS


2017-10-26

Simulation of cut-in by manually driven vehicles in platooning scenarios

A study in a VTI-driving simulator has showed that a platoon will be able to handle a cut in from a manually driven car. The results of this study have recently been presented at two conferences in Japan.


2017-10-16

ERPUG Forum

The five-year anniversary of European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017.


2017-09-29

Self-driving buses in Sweden next year?

A self-driving, fossil-free bus. This idea might become reality through a forthcoming collaborative project involving the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Linköping University and several other participants. The project group aim...


2017-09-29

New climate-proof solutions for hard surfaces in cities

High-density road infrastructure that emphasise maximum durability and minimum maintenance create inflexible systems, which put increased stress on urban trees and lead to increased risk for flooding. Over the past five years, the ‘Climate-proof solutions for...


2017-09-29

VTI is preparing for automated vehicles

Automation of traffic systems will lead to major changes. The European Union’s (EU) CoEXist research project began in June 2017 with the aim of preparing cities and road operators for the introduction of self-driving vehicles. The Swedish National Road and...


2017-07-05

Vehicle Driver Monitoring: sleepiness and cognitive load

To prevent road crashes it is important to understand driver related contributing factors, which have been suggested to be the critical reason in 94 per cent of crashes. The overall aim of the project Vehicle Driver Monitoring has been to advance the...