Reaction time while driving with insufficient headway

Yuji Matsuki, Katsuya Matsunaga, Kazunori Shidoji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As a driver's headway distance becomes shorter, it is necessary to quickly detect the movements of the vehicles ahead. In other words, a driver has to pay close attention to the vehicles ahead. In such situations, it is assumed that the reaction time to vehicles ahead and other obstacles would fluctuate more than when there is a long headway. To clarify the relationships between headway distance and reaction time, we conducted two experiments using a driving simulator. The results showed that the mean reaction times under the short headway distance became shorter than those under the long headway distance, however, the standard deviation of those under the short headway distance was greater. And it clarified that driving under the short headway distance requires more information processing on the part of the driver. These results lead to the conclusion that drivers tend to have more collisions under the short headway distance. This is because the short headway distance makes the drivers' reaction time fluctuate as well as satisfying the condition that the headway distance is shorter than the stopping distance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalResearch Reports on Information Science and Electrical Engineering of Kyushu University
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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