Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Jian (John) Lu, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Pei-Sung Lin, Ph.D.


Camera, Methodology, Implementation, Experimental, In-vehicle, Driver behavior


Since the creation of the automobile, there has been an effort to create and implement mechanical and electronic devices that would improve vehicle safety. In recent years, electronic technologies have become more efficient and cost effective, therefore creating a great spike in widespread implementation. These safety related devices have to be tested for their reliability and amount of help they provide the driver with. The end user (the driver) has to be involved for a successful device. This research presents the methodology used to evaluate the effectiveness of the rearview video system (RVS) used in vehicles, especially in large commercial trucks and effectively the methodology for a more complete investigation of the problem of correctly implementing a safety device. The focus of this research is backing crashes that involve large trucks. The countermeasure tested was a rearview video system which provides a rear view to the driver in real time.

A traditional crash data analysis is almost impossible since there is not enough data to perform it, and no data are available for the use of this system since it is fairly new to the market. A driver experiment under controlled conditions was used to create and collect the data necessary for the analysis. The experiment yielded a total of 71 crashes out of 270 maneuvers (26.3%). When analyzed, three backing neuvers yielded different probabilities of having a backing crash with and without the RVS. The increase in stop rate ranged from 46.67 percent to 4.44 percent. This is interpreted as crash reduction due to the device. Driver behavior was observed during the experiment and measured for significant differences. The drivers needed on average 6.47 seconds more time for the maneuvers with the RVS in use. They spent less time looking at mirrors and did it less frequently in order to accommodate the additional glance location presented to them.

Overall they seemed to be able to manage their time with some exceptions. The driver acceptance of the device was also measured with a survey given to them after they completed the test. Overall in all measures the majority of drivers agreed that the system helps in reducing the rear blind spot and thus it is a helpful device in reducing backing crashes since it will help them avoid potential hazards while backing. The majority also stated that they would like to have the device in their truck for every day operations. These results show an acceptance of the device and therefore the maximization of the device's use and potential benefits. The RVS is therefore effective in reducing potential backing crashes. The results presented here are limited, and inferences are made with the experiment conditions in mind. General application of the results is possible, with certain assumptions and restrictions.