In-vehicle warning systems that provide drivers with auditory alerts of approaching red-light running vehicles can reduce collisions by 75 percent.

Findings from a driving simulator study.

Nationwide; United States

Summary Information

This study evaluated the effectiveness of an in-vehicle auditory collision avoidance warning system designed to alert drivers of potential conflicts with red-light running vehicles at intersections with cross street traffic. A high-fidelity driving simulator was developed to evaluate driver behavior and test the working function of the system under different warning conditions using time-to-collision sensor data. Driver reaction with and without the warning information was assessed to quantify potential impact on collision rates.

Fifty (50) men and women were recruited to participate in the experiment. Participants were divided into two groups consisting of 24 professional taxi drivers and 26 non-professional drivers. Using a driving simulator, participants were subject to a pre-crash condition where the red-light running vehicle entered the intersection from the right side as the participant approached during a green phase. Warning content was provided to the driver in five different scenarios using different combinations of warning status (yes or no) warning lead time to collision (3 seconds versus 5 seconds) and audio warning content (with and without directional information). A warning lead time of 3 seconds was defined as “late" warning lead time and a warning lead time of 5 seconds was defined as “early" warning lead time. Driver brake reaction time, maximum vehicle deceleration, and lane deviation were measured and analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) statistical methods and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM).

  • Collision rates with and without warning information were estimated at 66 and 16.5 percent, respectively resulting in a 75 percent reduction in red-light running collisions.
  • Drivers provided with crash avoidance information exhibited shorter reaction times, less lane deviation, and larger maximum deceleration rates which resulted in lower collision rates.
The provision of directional information was not advantageous in the scenarios evaluated. There was no significant difference in crash avoidance behavior with or without directional information in early warning alerts, and driver performance even improved without directional information in late warning alerts. These findings imply that in very emergent situations, simple warning content may be better than complex messages suggesting that reduced mental workload can help drivers make more timely crash avoidance decisions.

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Driving-Simulator-Based Test on the Effectiveness of Auditory Red-Light Running Vehicle Warning System Based on Time-To-Collision Sensor

Author: Yan,Xuedong; Qingwan Xue; Lu Ma; and Yongcun Xu

Published By: Sensors Journal

Prepared by Beijing Jiaotong University for MDPI

Source Date: 02/21/2014

Other Reference Number: Vol.14, pp. 3631-3651



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Goal Areas


Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas, Statewide


None defined

Benefit ID: 2014-00923