Field evaluation of an advance brake warning system

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10 Scopus citations


A field study was conducted to evaluate an advance brake warning (ABW) light activation system. The ABW system detects very rapid accelerator pedal releases (assumed to characterize contingent braking responses) and activates the brake light. If the driver brakes within 1.0 s, then continuation of the brake light is governed by the brake pedal. Otherwise the light goes off. The ABW system was installed on six vehicles driven by their regular users, who were unaware of the system or the study. A total of 61 668 km were driven, in which the drivers braked 95 394 times. The ABW system was activated on 820 of those occasions, providing the following driver a 0.22 s warning. It was determined that the emergency braking activating the ABW system is relatively rare, occurring on average 13.3 times per 1000 km and less than 1% of all brake actions. False alarms (ABW activation without braking) occurred in 23% of all ABW activations but were insignificant (1 in 50) relative to the total number of brief braking actions lasting less than 1.0 s. It therefore appears that the advance brake warning light can provide the intended information without being a safety hazard to following drivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-751
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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