Concept evaluation of intersection decision support (IDS) system interfaces to support drivers' gap acceptance decisions at rural stop-controlled intersections

Janet I. Creaser, Michael E. Rakauskas, Nicholas J. Ward, Jason C. Laberge, Max Donath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Rural stop-controlled intersections pose a crash risk for drivers turning or crossing the intersection from the minor road. In particular, elderly drivers are at the highest risk of a collision in this situation. Errors made during gap detection, perception and acceptance are the main factors that influence crashes at this type of intersection. This study investigated young (20-40 years) and old (55-75 years) drivers' gap acceptance performance in simulated day and night driving conditions in a Baseline condition (STOP sign only) and four intersection decision support (IDS) conditions. The four IDS conditions were initial infrastructure-based design concepts that provided varying levels of dynamic information about traffic conditions on the major road to crossing minor-road drivers. Signs that provided detailed gap information (i.e., time-to-arrival values, warning levels for gaps) as well as advisory information about unsafe conditions resulted in the best performance among old and young drivers in comparison to signs that did not provide specific gap-related information (i.e., detected vehicles approaching, but not size of gap or safety of gap). Comprehension, acceptance and usability ratings of the IDS signs were also highest for signs providing detailed gap and advisory information on the same sign. Recommendations for further design and development of the IDS system interface based on driver performance and acceptance of the technology is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-228
Number of pages21
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT Project No. 81655, WO 33). Operational funding for the HumanFIRST Program was also provided by the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Institute at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies (CTS). The authors are grateful for the contributions made during the design phase by Craig Shankwitz (Intelligent Vehicles Laboratory, University of Minnesota) and Ray Starr (Mn/DOT).


  • Decision support
  • Gap acceptance
  • ITS
  • Intersections
  • Older drivers


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