Car-following (CF) maneuver plays an important role in both traffic flow analysis and road safety assessment. However, many studies on this issue have focused on the drivers’ behaviour, neglecting the different driving behaviour of the motorcycle riders and the vulnerability of this type of user. The aim of the present paper is to analyse the factors affecting the riders’ behaviour in CF condition, by using two surrogate safety indicators, Time Headway (TH) and Time To Collision (TTC). A field experiment was conducted to collect data. Twenty young motorcyclists participated in the study driving their own motorcycles, which were instrumented with a camera and a global positioning system device (GPS). A digital image processing algorithm was used to obtain CF related indicators. The results of the study showed that Time Headway (TH) and Time To Collision (TTC) are independent of each other, extending the result obtained in the literature for the four wheeled vehicles to the motorcycles. TTC and TH were therefore analyzed separately. As for TTC, it was observed that only in few cases (0.8%) the riders were found in risky condition (TTC < 5 s), confirming the role of this parameter for the detection of an impending risk. On the other hand, TH gives information about a potentially risky situation, and 99% of the riders were found in such condition (TH < 2 s). Due to the few cases in TTC risky conditions, only TH was further modelled by using the hazard-based duration analysis. Accelerated Failure Time (AFT) model specification was used, and the Weibull distribution provided the best fit of the data. The model identified four covariates affecting TH and all of them had the effect of reducing TH, increasing the collision risk. The time spent on CF condition, the speed of the motorcycle, the willingness of overtaking and the engine size of the motorcycle were the factors that reduced TH. The findings of this study could be considered in the development of microsimulation models; the factors that were found affecting the motorcyclists’ behavior in car-following condition could be considered for a more realistic simulation of the riders’ choice of Time Headway.
Gulisano, F., Bella, F. (2021). Factors affecting motorcyclists’ behavior in car-following condition. TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PART F: TRAFFIC PSYCHOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR, 82, 1-14 [10.1016/j.trf.2021.07.014].