Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Tunnel anxiety' can be reduced

Date:
March 4, 2010
Source:
SINTEF
Summary:
Many people feel insecure when they drive in tunnels. However, their anxiety can be reduced. Driving in tunnels is actually twice as safe as driving in the open air, when all factors are taken into account, say experts.

From the Qinling Zhongnan tunnel in China, where artistic lighting and the "Oasis with palms and clouds on the roof" design transformed an originally rather dry and monotonous tunnel environment.
Credit: Image courtesy of SINTEF

Many people feel insecure when they drive in tunnels. However, their anxiety can be reduced.

Related Articles


"Driving in tunnels is actually twice as safe as driving in the open air, when all factors are taken into account," says SINTEF scientist Gunnar Jensen.

However, a rough estimate suggests that as many as 10 -- 20 percent of the population feel uncomfortable or very uncomfortable driving in tunnels. Older people in particular tend to feel insecure.

In a previous study carried out by SINTEF, as many as 40 percent of the older age-group said that they felt extremely insecure driving in tunnels. They spoke of walls and road lanes that seemed to shrink, and of a feeling of being completely exhausted when they eventually reached the end of the tunnel.

Gunnar Jenssen believes that this may be due to the fact that elderly people tend to have poorer vision than younger people. This means that lighting conditions in tunnels play a decisive role in determining how people experience tunnels, he believes.

Design can reduce discomfort

On this background, SINTEF transport researchers have been studying the use of various ranges of colour, lighting and patterns, as well as the use of cavern spaces in tunnels. The group's driving simulator has been and still is a very aid in testing out lighting designs.

"The cavern in the tunnel is one measure that is high on our list. The trumpet-like widenings of the caverns' entrances and exits are a way of breaking up the impact of long tunnels. The 24.5 km-long Lζrdal Tunnel has three well-lit caverns designed according to proposals submitted by the Kadabra Produktdesign company, researchers and the artists Arild Juul and Brit Dyrnes.

Norwegian breathing spaces in Chinese tunnel

In 2007, the lighting design from Trondheim was exported to China, and Gunnar Jenssen was project manager for "Safety and Lighting Design" when that country inaugurated the world's longest twin-tube tunnel, the Qinling Zhongnan Mountain Tunnel, in which the monotony is broken by huge caverns excavated at intervals of three to seven kilometres.

"The tunnel is 18x2 kilometres long, and to begin with it was a dry, monotonous tunnel, which was then developed in collaboration with Norwegian artists and designers into an oasis with palm-trees and clouds on the roof ," says Jenssen.

Lighting for safety

The main point is to obtain a good distribution of light, in conjunction with the use of artistic lighting, which turns out to give drivers a feeling of space and of greater security. Modern lighting systems, with two rows of lamps, light sources that illuminate the opposite direction and driving lane, are beginning to be quite common in new Chinese tunnels, and they have also been installed in the tunnel that forms part of the Ψresund Link between Denmark and Sweden.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SINTEF. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

SINTEF. "'Tunnel anxiety' can be reduced." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304075712.htm>.
SINTEF. (2010, March 4). 'Tunnel anxiety' can be reduced. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304075712.htm
SINTEF. "'Tunnel anxiety' can be reduced." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304075712.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Driverless Budii Gives the Wheel Feel

Driverless Budii Gives the Wheel Feel

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 6, 2015) — The Rinspeed Budii Concept car is creating a driverless stir at this year&apos;s Geneva car show. It&apos;s an all-electric autonomous vehicle with a difference. Ciara Lee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Star Wars Inspires Mobile Holograms

Star Wars Inspires Mobile Holograms

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 6, 2015) — 3D holograms could soon be coming to your mobile phone. Inspired by the famous Princess Leia hologram from Star Wars, a U.S. company is showcasing a prototype display at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona and says it could be used for real-time video calls. Ivor Bennett reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Game Makers Lured Into Virtual Worlds

Game Makers Lured Into Virtual Worlds

AFP (Mar. 6, 2015) — Some 25,000 people have descended upon San Francisco to show off the latest technologies and video games at the Game Developers Conference. Developers here discuss the future of the industry. Duration: 02:20. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) — The Dutch government has cut production at Europe&apos;s largest gas field in Groningen amid concerns over earthquakes which are damaging local churches. As Amy Pollock reports the decision - largely politically-motivated - could have big economic conseqeunces. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins