טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentSadan Eran
SubjectTraffic Flow Characteristics of Israel Compared to other
Countries
DepartmentDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Supervisors Professor Emeritus Avishai Ceder
Professor Abishai Polus


Abstract

Much has been said and/or written about the behavioral characteristics of the “Israeli Driver”.  Many would argue that “aggressive, careless and selfish” are what best describes them.  None of these descriptions hold scientific validity based on measurable evidence.

This work estimates traffic flow (and behavioral) characteristics in Israel, and compares their measures to parallel data collected in other countries.  These traffic flow characteristics though representing the a macroscopic perspective can be linked to certain parameters of driving behavior, thus serving as an indicator for validity of possible (if any) “Israeli Driver” stereotype.  This study pioneers an attempt to understand if the “Israeli Driver Stereotype” holds merit with scientific truth to some extent.

The thesis examines measurable and comparable data.  “Comparable” is defined as having similarity in: (i) site conditions and (ii) methodology of data collection.  Because of International original data is not open to public, the need to fine tune data arose. Data collection was refined to be comparable across all countries involved in the study. 

While trying to identify correlations between the overall traffic flow characteristics and the behaviorism of a discrete driver, differences between Israel and other countries were found and analyzed.  One of the major questions set forth was: are Israel’s traffic flow characteristics same as of other nationalities?  Traffic flow characteristics can be linked to stereotype characteristics of “Group (Israeli) of Drivers”.  For example: will the Israeli driver accept shorter gaps, when taking a decision at an unsignalized junction, than in other countries?

This study compares several facets of traffic flow characteristics: 

    Vehicle-volume distribution between adjacent lanes
  • Free-flow speed as a function of the posted speed
  • Lane capacity
  • Free-flow speeds in adjacent lanes
  • Critical gaps and follow-up gaps in unsignalized junctions and roundabouts

·         Roundabout capacity

  • Follow-up time-headways
  • Bottleneck capacity
  • Driver Aggressiveness (via indirect measures)

All chosen characteristics have a certain element of driver’s behaviorism.

In general, the comparative results indicate that the Israeli driver has no significant unique character. Most measures taken in Israel resembled the measures taken in other countries.  Only in one measure, an essential difference was found. This is about vehicle-volume distribution between 3 adjacent lanes. The latter shows complete different % of using each traffic lane than comparable measures in other countries.  Israeli drivers less use the right lanes than the left lane even for low-volume traffic flows.