The flashing green light paradox

Roni Factor*, Joseph N. Prashker, David Mahalel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

The traffic engineering literature shows that flashing-green intervals at the end of the green interval do not increase safety at signalized intersections, although these intervals were introduced to provide additional information that would help drivers make safe stopping or crossing decisions. The present research evaluates, in light of the engineering literature, Israeli drivers' perceptions of the flashing green interval, knowledge of the legal meaning of flashing green, perceived safety implications of the flashing green, and behavior in its presence. The study also explores differences between Israel's two main ethnic groups in terms of these issues. A survey was conducted among 670 Israeli drivers in order to investigate three hypotheses. The results show that, in agreement with the literature, Israeli drivers exhibit great variance in their reaction to the flashing green. As was hypothesized, it seems that most drivers support the flashing green interval despite the fact that it seems to reduce safety. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dilemma zone
  • Driver attitudes
  • Driver perceptions
  • Ethnic differences
  • Flashing green light
  • Road safety

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