Driver Performance at High Speeds Using a Simulator Academic Article uri icon


  • The goal of a Texas Department of Transportation project was a better understanding of driver performance at high speeds. Because of limited opportunity to study high-speed driving, one of the approaches used in the study was a driving simulator. The objective of the study was to measure how long drivers took to notice and react to a lead vehicle decelerating. Conditions that varied were initial speed, lead vehicle type, lead vehicle deceleration rate, and workload level. The recorded simulator data provided the research team with the driver's actual proximity to the lead vehicle at each time increment. Findings from this study included the following: higher initial speeds were associated with statistically significant longer reaction times; reaction times when following a smaller vehicle (a car in this experiment) were longer than those when following a large vehicle (a truck); brake reaction times were shorter with faster deceleration rates; and greater headways present at the start of a deceleration event were associated with longer reaction times.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Fitzpatrick, K., Chrysler, S. T., Park, E. S., Iragavarapu, V., & Nelson, A. A.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Fitzpatrick, Kay||Chrysler, Susan T||Park, Eun Sug||Iragavarapu, Vichika||Nelson, Alicia A

publication date

  • January 2012