The use of smartphones has been increasing over the last decade. The increase of smartphone usage by drivers is particularly concerning in highway work zones when operations and maintenance activities are being performed. This research aims to investigate the impact of using smartphone applications, such as a global positioning system (GPS), when driving through a work zone. Initially, a survey was conducted to evaluate drivers’ understanding of the typical components of a work zone and their preferences regarding safe operation conditions in a temporary traffic control setting. Afterward, 24 subjects were selected to participate in the study using the driving simulator at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. The scenarios had three different workspaces located at the left lane, right lane, and right shoulder. Furthermore, they had the presence of an inattentive worker invading the traffic space. The standard deviation of lateral position and mean speed were obtained in four different locations along the work zone. The results showed that at least 16.7% of subjects encroached the workspace while using an active GPS when the work zone was located in the right lane with the exit ramp closed. Also, the results demonstrated that 67% of the subjects avoided impacting the worker by performing an evasive maneuver.
Publication Date: December 2018
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Driver Behavior; Driving Simulators; Global Positioning System; Mobile Applications; Surveys; Temporary Traffic Control; Work Zones