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Thursday, 10 June 2010

Why do most drivers tend to speed through the yellow light

Are you amongst those who do not stop but speed through the yellow light? Well, then here's the reason why you do so.

Transportation engineering PhD student Zhixia Li at the University of Cincinnati headed a real-world project that every driver can relate to, and what he calls the "yellow light dilemma."

He conducted his research, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Transportation, at intersections in Akron, Cleves and Fairfield, Ohio. And he found that certain factors make it more likely that you'll opt to speed through an intersection rather than stop at the light.

The factors that make us run the yellow are:

Lane position: Drivers in the right lane are 1.6 times more likely to speed through a yellow light as compared to drivers in the left lane.

Type of vehicle: Drivers in heavy trucks are more likely to "pass through" a yellow light versus drivers of automobiles, SUVs, vans or pickup trucks.

Travel speed and speed limit: The greater the traveling speed of a vehicle at the onset of a yellow light, the more likely that vehicle is to pass through a yellow light. Another finding: the higher the posted speed limit, the more likely vehicles are to pass through a yellow light.

Timing of light: Yellow lights are typically set to persist between 3 to 5 seconds. Drivers coming upon an intersection where the yellow light persists longer are more likely to pass through the yellow light.

For each "additional" second a yellow light persists, drivers are more than three times as likely to pass through an intersection.
So, for example, a driver is more than three times as likely to pass through a yellow light set to persist for 5 seconds versus a yellow light set to persist for 4 seconds.

The same goes for a yellow light that persists for 4 seconds versus a yellow light that persists for 3 seconds.

The research will help traffic engineers consider and test safety and traffic efficiency measures, including the positioning of sensors that time traffic lights.

And it just might help drivers consider their own actions when in the yellow light dilemma zone.

The results of the research will be presented at the 2010 American Society of Highway Engineers National Conference, in Cincinnati, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza.

Source : Yahoo News.

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