Comparative and Microscopic Analysis of Vehicle Startup Behavior in Red Countdown Traffic Lights with Various Display Forms

Motohiro Fujita1, *
1 Nagoya Institute of Technology, Gokiso-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan

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© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Nagoya Institute of Technology, Gokiso-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan; E-mail:



Countdown-type traffic lights provide drivers with the time remaining before the signal turns green or red. Most countdown devices inform the drivers of the exact signal switching time numerically on a display form. This study focuses on two vehicle startup behaviors when a red signal phase countdown (RC) is displayed: a premature start (PS) and an early reaction (ER). The PS is a vehicle crossing the stop line before the green phase, and the ER is a vehicle starting to move before the green phase. While there are many studies on PS rates under RC, there are only a few studies on ER rates. There are also few studies that have analyzed the relationship between the PS and ER rates and the display forms of RC have also been analyzed in terms of micro-behavior.


This study microscopically analyzes the ER and PS by including data within 1 second at signal switching while comparing 10 types of display forms in RC in order to obtain the ideas of safer and more efficient display forms in signal countdown.


We conducted the experiments with RC traffic lights of different display forms, and the surveys of no countdown (NC).


From the very limited conditions of the experiment, we found that there is a threshold at which the ER rates in RC and NC differ significantly.


We were also able to analyze the basic characteristics related to the display forms of RC, which is a quick start and which reduces PS and ER.

Keywords: Countdown traffic signal, Display form, Vehicle startup behavior, Reaction time, Traffic lights, Microscopic analysis.