Driver Eye-Scanning Behavior as Function of Pavement Marking ConfigurationAuthor/Presenter: Zwahlen, Helmut T.; Schnell, Thomas
Spatial driver eye-scanning behavior and driving speeds were collected along four rural two-lane road test sites under low-beam illumination conditions at night. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that drivers adjust their spatial eye-scanning behavior and their driving speeds in response to pavement marking visibility. Two pavement marking conditions were investigated: (a) low-visibility temporary pavement markings (before condition) consisting of a yellow dashed centerline and no edge lines on a newly paved asphalt surface, and (b) new, fully restored double solid yellow centerlines with white edge lines (after condition). The results suggest that drivers operate with very short preview times and that drivers do not appear to lower their speeds under the low-visibility before condition, as compared with their speeds under the high-visibility after condition. However, drivers systematically and consistently decrease their longitudinal eye fixation distances under the before condition. This study provides further evidence that drivers ” overdrive” their low beams at night and that there may be a need for a specific education effort or, in the case of temporary pavement markings in construction work zones, the use of regulatory lower speed limits and credible enforcement.