Measurement and Analysis of Heterogenous Vehicle Following Behavior on Urban Freeways: Time Headways and Standstill Distances
Microscopic traffic modelling is a popular tool in the transportation field, but using such models comes with significant data needs in order to properly calibrate them. Two important driver behavior parameters in these models are the preferred time headways and standstill distances. In this paper, an economical method for collecting headways and standstill distances is presented and applied to urban freeways in Iowa, USA. The following time headways and standstill distances were categorized into four combinations of car and truck pairs. It was found that headway values largely depend on the following vehicle type-when a car was following the average headway was around 2 seconds, compared to around 3 seconds when a truck was following. Additionally, the car-car combination leaves much less space when stopped than when a pair involves trucks. In particular, the average standstill distance of a car following a car was found to be around 9 feet, while the average standstill distances are around 12 feet when a truck is involved. However, both headways and standstill distances follow fairly disperse distributions, due to the heterogeneity in driver behavior. Thus, microsimulation software should be improved to allow these parameters to follow distributions.