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Third-party-funded project

Influence of Roadside Vegetation on Road User Behaviour and Safety on Rural Roads

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:

Roadside vegetation serves ecological and aesthetical purposes, and has the potential to improve driver orientation through visual guidance in curves. On the other hand, trees (and other obstacles) in close proximity to the roadside are known to increase accident severity if cars leave the road. Therefore guidelines and practices for roadside vegetation design are currently under discussion. This study examines the influence of of several classes of roadside vegetation on driver behaviour.
While one project partner (TU Dresden) observes speed, lateral position and gaze behavior of persons participating in real traffic on road sections with different vegetation, we use the driving simulator to register driver behaviour (eye movements, pedal/wheel input, speed, lateral position etc.) on an experimentally constructed road, where road sections of differenct horizontal and vertical curvature are combined with different classes of roadside vegetation.
Theoretical analysis and results from a prior project suggest the hypothesis that roadside vegetation of a certain structure and height should improve visual guidance and anticipation behavior on difficult road sections.

Key words:
    road construction
    driver behaviour
    human information processing

Projekt period: from 03.2006 to 03.2008

Funding institution:
Sonstige öffentliche Mittel ( Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen ) ,Granting date: 01.01.2006

Preceding project:

Center for Traffic Sciences