With the aim of maintaining a decent level of accessibility, the presence of intersections, often in high numbers, is one of the typical features of rural roads. However, evidence from literature shows that increasing intersection density increases the risk of accidents. Accident analysis literature regarding intersection density primarily consists of accident prediction models which are a useful tool for measuring safety performance of roads, but the literature is lacking in terms of evaluation of driver behavior using direct measurements of driver performance. This study focuses on the influence of intersection density on the risk perception of drivers through experiments carried out with a driving simulator. A virtual driving environment of a rural roadway was constructed. The road consisted of segments featuring extra-urban and village driving environments with varying intersection density level. Participants were recruited to drive through this virtual driving environment. Various driver performance measures such as vehicle speed and brake and gas pedal usage were collected from the experiment and then processed for further analysis. Results indicate an increase in driver's perceived risk when the intersection density increased, according with the findings from the accident prediction modeling literature. However, at the same time, this driving simulator study revealed some interesting insights about oscillating perceived risk among drivers in the case of mid-level intersection separation distances. Beyond the accident research domain, findings from this study can also be useful for engineers and transportation agencies associated with access management to make more informed decisions.
Basu, S., Ferrante, C., De Blasiis, M.r. (2022). Influence of Intersection Density on Risk Perception of Drivers in Rural Roadways: A Driving Simulator Study. SUSTAINABILITY, 14(13), 7750 [10.3390/su14137750].