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Perceptual lane width, wide perceptual road centre markings and driving speeds

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The possibility that driving speeds could be reduced through the use of lane delineation was explored. Using a high-fidelity driving simulator, 28 experienced drivers were measured on seven two-lane rural roads with lane widths of 3.6, 3.0, or 2.5 m, and with either a standard centreline (control), a wide painted hatched road centre marking, or a wide white gravel road centre marking. Driving speeds were reduced on the narrowest lane width road, and further reduced on straight road sections that contained the centre marking with painted hatching. It was concluded that the narrow lane width increased steering workload and reduced speeds through a speed-steering workload trade-off, whilst the hatched road centre marking enhanced peripheral visual speed perception, leading to higher speed estimations and slower speeds. Therefore, narrowing the lane width below 3.0 m by using a painted hatched road centre marking should be an effective way to reduce driving speeds.
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Keywords: Driving simulation; Lane width; Medians; Road centre markings; Road safety; Speed; Speed perception; Steering

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 26, 2004

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