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Accid Anal Prev. 2013 Sep;58:226-34. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2012.09.014. Epub 2012 Sep 28.

At the cross-roads: an on-road examination of driving errors at intersections.

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Monash University Accident Research Centre, Monash Injury Research Institute, Monash University, Building 70, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia.


A significant proportion of road trauma occurs at intersections. Understanding the nature of driving errors at intersections therefore has the potential to lead to significant injury reductions. To further understand how the complexity of modern intersections shapes behaviour of these errors are compared to errors made mid-block, and the role of wider systems failures in intersection error causation is investigated in an on-road study. Twenty-five participants drove a pre-determined urban route incorporating 25 intersections. Two in-vehicle observers recorded the errors made while a range of other data was collected, including driver verbal protocols, video, driver eye glance behaviour and vehicle data (e.g., speed, braking and lane position). Participants also completed a post-trial cognitive task analysis interview. Participants were found to make 39 specific error types, with speeding violations the most common. Participants made significantly more errors at intersections compared to mid-block, with misjudgement, action and perceptual/observation errors more commonly observed at intersections. Traffic signal configuration was found to play a key role in intersection error causation, with drivers making more errors at partially signalised compared to fully signalised intersections.


Driving error; Intersections; On-road study; Systems safety

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