Modeling Gap Acceptance And Driver Behavior At Stopped Controlled Intersections (Priority Intersections)
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ProgramDoctor of Engineering
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Priority intersections are intersections controlled by a stop or yield sign. A vehicle at a priority intersection from a minor road makes a choice to either accept or reject an available gap when joining or crossing the main road. Various factors affect the driver's decision to accept or reject a gap at the priority intersection. The characteristics of the driver, vehicle and the intersection itself play major roles in the driver's behavior at the intersection. Factors such as the driver's age, gender, waiting time, intersection delay, and the vehicles' accelerating capability affect the decision to accept or reject a gap. The gap acceptance concept in developed countries (e.g., United States of America) has historically been studied and researched at signalized and unsignalized intersections. However, in developing countries little research has been conducted on this concept or on the driver's behavior, particularly Ghana. Yet traffic analysis software programs built to suit a developed country's condition are often used to analyze intersections in developing countries like Ghana. Ghanaian engineers have yet to develop a gap acceptance model suitable for unsignalized intersections. This research analyzes gaps and driver behavior at unsignalized intersections for both cross (4 leg) intersections and T-intersections for left, right and through moving vehicles from minor roads onto major roads; left turning vehicles from the major roads onto the minor roads are also analyzed. Critical gap values and the most common driver's variable is determined. The results of the critical gaps values found in this research are compared to that of the recommended values from the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM). The results of the analysis showed critical gaps lower than that of the recommended values from the 2010 HCM. A comparison between the critical gaps determined in this research and the recommended 2010 HCM critical gaps showed lower delays when the critical gaps found in this research were modeled in aaSidra and the Highway Capacity Software (HCS). The Logistics Regression analysis showed that most drivers at priority intersections will accept gaps equal or greater than the critical gap determined in this research. The analysis also showed that pedestrian and hawking activities at intersections are not contributing factors to a driver's decision in accepting a gap. The driver's decision to accept or reject a gap varied between locations. Although the driver's decision to accept or reject a gap varied between locations, the most common factor (variable) that affected a driver's decision to accept or reject a gap was the time spent at the stop sign.