The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed its Light Vehicle Antilock Brake Systems (ABS) Research Program in an effort to determine the cause(s) of the apparent increase in single-vehicle run-off-road crashes and decrease in multi-vehicle on-road crashes as vehicles transition from conventional brakes to ABS. As part of this program, NHTSA conducted research examining driver crash avoidance behavior and the effects of ABS on drivers’ ability to avoid a collision in a crash-imminent situation. The study described here was conducted on the Iowa Driving Simulator and examined the effects of ABS versus conventional brakes, speed limit, ABS instruction, and time-to-intersection (TTI) on driver behavior and crash avoidance performance. This study found that drivers do tend to brake and steer in realistic crash avoidance situations and that excessive steering can occur. However, a significant number of road departures did not result from this behavior. Drivers in the ABS group showed significantly increased stability and control relative to conventional brakes.
Antilock Brake Systems, ABS, Crash Avoidance, Driver Behavior, Passenger Vehicles