Exploring the Influence of Signal Countdown Timers on Driver Behavior: An Analysis of Pedestrian–Vehicle Conflicts at Signalized Intersections

Abbas Sheykhfard, Farshidreza Haghighi*, Eleonora Papadimitriou, Subasish Das, Pieter Van Gelder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Although signal countdown timers (SCTs) are likely to enhance efficiency at signalized intersections, there is little research on how they affect road users’ behavior. The present study explores factors associated with driver behavior through two approaches to examine how SCTs influence drivers’ actions toward pedestrians violating red lights. In the first approach, through an on-road questionnaire survey, the self-reported behavior of 369 drivers when crossing an intersection enabled with SCTs was analyzed. In the second approach, the drivers’ behavior was studied through naturalistic driving studies at two signalized intersections equipped with SCTs in Babol, Iran. Analyzing vehicle–pedestrian conflicts indicated that the presence of SCTs had a significant influence on driving behavior. Also, the ending seconds of green lights, as critical times of the SCTs, led to changes in driving behavior. Increasing the vehicle speed, changing lanes, and concurrent increases of speed and changing lanes were the common driver actions affected by critical times of the SCTs. Finally, the effect of critical times on drivers’ actions during conflicts was modeled by using the binary and multinomial logistic methods. The results show that SCTs are an external factor that can lead to risky driver behavior, such as errors and violations that might increase the potential for pedestrian accidents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-880
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • driver behavior
  • human factors
  • pedestrians
  • safety
  • signalized intersection
  • traffic signals


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