Vehicle Type–Specific Headway Analysis Using Freeway Traffic Data Academic Article uri icon


  • The distribution of time headway has long been a research topic because headway between vehicles is an important flow characteristic affecting safety, level of service, driver behavior, and capacity of a transportation system. However, almost all reported research on headway is focused on mixed vehicular flow without considering the difference in headway with respect to different vehicle types. In this paper, with the use of 1-day freeway traffic data from Interstate 35 in Austin, Texas, four time headway types based on different combinations of leading vehicles and following vehicles-car-truck, truck-car, truck-truck, and car-car-are analyzed at different traffic flow levels. Statistical comparisons between each vehicle type-specific headway and mixed vehicle-type headway are made to verify their significant differences. The paper demonstrates the necessity of vehicle type-specific headway study. The results of the paper not only identify qualitative differences between the vehicle type-specific headways and distributions, but also can be used as a reference for practical applications, especially for improving microscopic traffic simulation models.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ye, F., & Zhang, Y.

citation count

  • 51

publication date

  • January 2009