Intelligent Rat-Runners: Impact of Car Navigation Systems on Safety of Residential Roads

  • Aya Kojima
  • Susanne Elfferding
  • Hisashi Kubota


The authors investigated the phenomenon of “intelligent rat-runners”—that is, road drivers that use car navigation systems to drive through residential areas in order to avoid congested traffic on arterial roads. A nationwide questionnaire survey revealed that some of such drivers, as a result of having to look at the displays of their navigation systems, have had experiences that could have resulted in serious accidents. A driving experiment conducted showed that drivers with access to information about narrow streets and route guidance through their navigation systems have a greater tendency to avoid congested arterial roads by turning into residential areas.


Car navigation system Rat-runner Residential area Traffic safety Traffic calming 



This work was supported by International Association of Traffic and Safety Science. The authors also thank Japan Automobile Federation for their cooperation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aya Kojima
    • 1
  • Susanne Elfferding
    • 2
  • Hisashi Kubota
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Science & EngineeringSaitama UniversitySaitamaJapan
  2. 2.HamburgGermany

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