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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Oct 14;13(10). pii: E1010.

Effects of Lane Width, Lane Position and Edge Shoulder Width on Driving Behavior in Underground Urban Expressways: A Driving Simulator Study.

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School of Transportation Engineering, Tongji University, 4800 Cao'an Highway, Shanghai 201804, China.
School of Transportation Engineering, Tongji University, 4800 Cao'an Highway, Shanghai 201804, China.
Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada.


This study tested the effects of lane width, lane position and edge shoulder width on driving behavior for a three-lane underground urban expressway. A driving simulator was used with 24 volunteer test subjects. Five lane widths (2.85, 3.00, 3.25, 3.50, and 3.75 m) and three shoulder widths (0.50, 0.75, and 1.00 m) were studied. Driving speed, lane deviation and subjective perception of driving behavior were collected as performance measures. The results show that lane and shoulder width have significant effects on driving speed. Average driving speed increases from 60.01 km/h in the narrowest lane to 88.05 km/h in the widest lane. While both narrower lanes and shoulders result in reduced speed and lateral lane deviation, the effect of lane width is greater than that of shoulder width. When the lane and shoulder are narrow, drivers in the left or right lane tend to shy away from the tunnel wall, even encroaching into the neighboring middle lane. As the lane or shoulder gets wider, drivers tend to stay in the middle of the lane. An interesting finding is that although few participants acknowledged that lane position had any great bearing on their driving behaviors, the observed driving speed is statistically higher in the left lane than in the other two lanes when the lane width is narrow (in 2.85, 3 and 3.25 m lanes). These findings provided support for amending the current design specifications of urban underground roads, such as the relationship between design speed and lane width, speed limit, and combination form of lanes.


driving behavior; lane position; lane width; shoulder width; underground urban expressway

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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Conflict of interest statement

The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest to the manuscript. We declare that we do not have any commercial or associative interest that represents a conflict of interest in connection with the manuscript submitted.

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