Assessing perceived driving difficulties under emergency evacuation for vulnerable population groups

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The devastating impacts of natural hazards, including loss of lives and properties, underline the importance of efficient hazard preparedness, especially in the areas with frequent hazard occurrence. Several studies indicated that driving during emergency evacuation is quite challenging due to dense traffic flow, inclement weather conditions, and unexpected maneuvers of other evacuees. However, limited research has been directed towards assessing the perceived driving difficulties of individuals, including vulnerable population, under emergency evacuation. This study deploys a driving simulator in order to emulate realistic emergency evacuation scenarios and to quantify the perceived driving difficulties of individuals under emergency evacuation. Based on the data, collected using a driving simulator, a number of statistical models are proposed to determine a set of performance indicators, including the mental demand, physical demand, temporal demand, performance, effort, and frustration, experienced by individuals as a result of emergency evacuation. The statistical models also capture a variety of different driver characteristics, traffic characteristics, driving conditions, and evacuation route characteristics. The analysis results suggest that the considered performance indicators are significantly influenced with a number of factors, including age, gender, education, race, presence of chronic diseases, and self-reported driving ability. The insights from the conducted research can be applied at the hazard preparedness stage to mitigate the perceived driving difficulties of individuals under emergency evacuation and ensure their safety.

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Socio-Economic Planning Sciences



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