Fleet study evaluation of an advance brake warning system

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The advance brake warning system (ABWS) is a mechanism that activates the brake lights in response to a rapid disengagement of the gas pedal, before the driver's foot reaches the brake pedal. Two previous studies showed that (a) such rapid releases of the gas pedal are typically followed by brake activation, and (b) the ABWS can prevent a high percentage of rear-end collisions in which an attentive following driver maintains a headway of 1.0 s or less from the vehicle ahead. In the present study the crash involvement of 764 government cars and light trucks was tracked over an average period of 35 months. The vehicles were matched in pairs - one of each pair with the ABWS and one without it. Data analyses focused on collisions in which the government vehicles were rear-ended. Overall, ABWS-equipped vehicles were not significantly less involved in rear-end collisions. However, an examination of the struck vehicles only showed that the ABWS-equipped vehicles were involved in fewer rear-end collisions per kilometer driven than were the vehicles without the ABWS. In conclusion, despite the theoretical appeal and the results of earlier studies, the fleet study failed to demonstrate that such a system is a cost-effective safety device for the prevention of rear-end crashes. Actual or potential applications include the evaluation of new in-vehicle technologies by a hierarchy of multiple validation studies prior to consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-489
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000


Dive into the research topics of 'Fleet study evaluation of an advance brake warning system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this