Conference Proceeding

Quantifying Driver Response Times Based upon Research and Real Life Data

  • Jeffrey W Muttart (Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic)


The purpose of this paper was to build upon previous research,identify the variables that significantly influence driver response times, and todetermine the amplitude (constant) of that influence. The goal is that this researchwill explain why seemingly analogous published studies have come to verydifferent driver response time results. An analogous driver response situation isdefined as being in one of four groups: (1) lead vehicles that were stopped ormoving slowly, (2) being cut off (when a vehicle changes lanes into the path ofthe responding driver), (3) path intrusions, or (4) known lights, icons or sounds. Itwas found that research that measured response times in analogous situations canbe used to estimate the mean response time for a particular situation ifadjustments are made to account for methodological differences between thestudies. Non-analogous studies are poor predictors of driver response (Ananticipated light stimulus response cannot accurately predict the response time toa path intrusion or lead vehicle). Mean driver response times can be predictedwithin 400 ms without accounting for individual difference. Therefore, externalvalidity can be obtained regardless of the testing method (closed course, simulatoror road), as long as the subject is unaware of either the stimulus or the appropriateresponse. Having a subject respond to multiple events does not (by itself) suggestthat drivers will respond significantly faster.

How to Cite:

Muttart, J., (2005) “Quantifying Driver Response Times Based upon Research and Real Life Data”, Driving Assessment Conference 3(2005), 9-17. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2005 the author(s)

Download pdf
View PDF



Published on
28 Jun 2005
Peer Reviewed