Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stop or speed through a yellow light? That is the question

Date:
July 26, 2010
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
Are you, as a driver, more likely to stop or to speed through a yellow light?

Transportation engineering PhD student Zhixia Li was attracted to the University of Cincinnati because of the real-world education and experience the university provides.

In return, he's headed a real-world project that every driver can relate to. It's a project on which he has presented and published nationally, and it looks at what he calls the "yellow light dilemma." Are you, as a driver, more likely to stop or to speed through a yellow light?

Here's what he found when conducting research, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Transportation, at intersections in Akron, Cleves and Fairfield, Ohio:

Certain factors make it more likely that you'll opt to speed through an intersection rather than stop at the light.

The results of his research with his advisor Prof. Heng Wei, "Analysis of Drivers' Stopping Behaviors Associated with the Yellow Phase Dilemma Zone -- An Empirical Study in Fairfield, OH," will be presented at the 2010 American Society of Highway Engineers National Conference on June 9-13, 2010, in Cincinnati, at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza.

So what are the factors that make us run the yellow?

These include

  • Lane position: Drivers in the right lane are 1.6 times more likely to speed through a yellow light as compared to drivers in the left lane.
  • Type of vehicle: Drivers in heavy trucks are more likely to "pass through" a yellow light versus drivers of automobiles, SUVs, vans or pickup trucks.
  • Travel speed and speed limit: The greater the traveling speed of a vehicle at the onset of a yellow light, the more likely that vehicle is to pass through a yellow light. Another finding: the higher the posted speed limit, the more likely vehicles are to pass through a yellow light.
  • Timing of light: Yellow lights are typically set to persist between 3 to 5 seconds. Drivers coming upon an intersection where the yellow light persists longer are more likely to pass through the yellow light. For each "additional" second a yellow light persists, drivers are more than three times as likely to pass through an intersection. So, for example, a driver is more than three times as likely to pass through a yellow light set to persist for 5 seconds versus a yellow light set to persist for 4 seconds. Ditto for a yellow light that persists for 4 seconds versus a yellow light that persists for 3 seconds.

Li's research has won many awards, including the 2009 Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Daniel B. Fambro Best Student Paper Award (one winner internationally); first place, 2009 ITE Great Lakes District Student Paper Competition (Great Lakes District includes Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and West Virginia); and the 2009 Ohio Transportation Consortium (OTC) Best Graduate Student Paper Award.

This UC research will help traffic engineers consider and test safety and traffic efficiency measures, including the positioning of sensors that time traffic lights.

And it just might help drivers consider their own actions when in the yellow light dilemma zone.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "Stop or speed through a yellow light? That is the question." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608162244.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2010, July 26). Stop or speed through a yellow light? That is the question. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608162244.htm
University of Cincinnati. "Stop or speed through a yellow light? That is the question." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608162244.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama briefly played soccer with a robot during his visit to Japan on Thursday. The President has been emphasizing technology along with security concerns during his visit. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama spoke with student innovators in Japan and urged them to take part in increased opportunities for student exchanges with the US. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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