Speed reduction effects over distance of animal-vehicle collision countermeasures: a driving simulator study

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Annika Jägerbrand
Hans Antonson

Purpose: This study examined if speed reduction effects from animal-vehicle collision (AVC) countermeasures are merely local or do extend to a wider area, and what implications the results have on road planning practice regarding AVCs.

Methods: Twenty-five drivers drove repeatedly on a 9-km long road stretch in a high-fidelity driving simulator. The development of vehicle speed in the surrounding of an automatic speed camera, a wildlife warning sign and a radio message, were investigated in a full factorial within-subject experiment. The factors wildlife fence (with/without) and forest (dense/open landscape) were also included.

Results: The radio warning message had the largest influence on vehicle speed with a speed reduction of 8 km/h that lasted beyond 1 km and 2 km after the implementation. Eighty-eight per cent of the drivers reported being made extra aware of AVC due to the radio message, which was also associated with stress, insecurity and unsafety. The warning sign reduced vehicle speed by 1.5 km/h, but speed reductions were not significantly reduced 1 km after the implementation. Only 8 % of the drivers felt insecure/unsafe after passing the wildlife warning sign, explaining its limited impact on speed. There were no main effects of the automatic speed camera on vehicle speed at longer distances after implementation.

Conclusions: We recommend that AVC countermeasures should be of various design, occur at various segments along the road, and preferably be adaptive and geo-localized to minimize habituation effects on drivers.

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