Modeling Vehicle Merging Behavior in Work Zone Merging Areas During the Merging Implementation PeriodAuthor/Presenter: Weng, Jinxian; Xue, Shan; Yan, Xuedong
Using the classification and regression tree (CART) method, this study aims to model the vehicle merging behavior at work zone merging areas during the merging implementation period. Hereafter, the merging implementation period is defined as the period from the starting time to the completion time of a merging maneuver. From the safety perspective, the times to collision (TTC) between the merging vehicle and its neighboring vehicles are regarded as the factors affecting vehicle merging decisions. The results show that a larger delay, a shorter remaining distance to the work zone, a smaller TTC to the merging lead vehicle, and a higher merging vehicle speed may encourage drivers to complete merging maneuvers early. It is also found that the merging vehicle tends to continue merging when the TTCs between the merging vehicle and its neighboring vehicles in the through lane are too small. In addition, another CART model without the use of TTC is built for comparison. The finding indicates that the use of TTC can not only contribute to a perfect result but also highlight the merging safety situation more clearly. The merging rules of this study are ready to be incorporated into the merging assistance system for guiding a safety merging at work zone merging areas.