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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Aya Kojima.

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Kojima, A., Elfferding, S. & Kubota, H. Intelligent Rat-Runners: Impact of Car Navigation Systems on Safety of Residential Roads. Int. J. ITS Res. 13, 9–16 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13177-013-0075-7

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Keywords

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