Modeling types of pedal applications using a driving simulator

Yuqing Wu, Linda Ng Boyle, Daniel McGehee, Cheryl A. Roe, Kazutoshi Ebe, James Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine variations in drivers' foot behavior and identify factors associated with pedal misapplications. Background: Few studies have focused on the foot behavior while in the vehicle and the mishaps that a driver can encounter during a potentially hazardous situation. Method: A driving simulation study was used to understand how drivers move their right foot toward the pedals. The study included data from 43 drivers as they responded to a series of rapid traffic signal phase changes. Pedal application types were classified as (a) direct hit, (b) hesitated, (c) corrected trajectory, and (d) pedal errors (incorrect trajectories, misses, slips, or pressed both pedals). A mixed-effects multinomial logit model was used to predict the likelihood of one of these pedal applications, and linear mixed models with repeated measures were used to examine the response time and pedal duration given the various experimental conditions (stimuli color and location). Results: Younger drivers had higher probabilities of direct hits when compared to other age groups. Participants tended to have more pedal errors when responding to a red signal or when the signal appeared to be closer. Traffic signal phases and locations were associated with pedal response time and duration. The response time and pedal duration affected the likelihood of being in one of the four pedal application types. Conclusion and Application: Findings from this study suggest that age-related and situational factors may play a role in pedal errors, and the stimuli locations could affect the type of pedal application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1276-1288
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • driver behavior
  • foot trajectory
  • pedal application types
  • pedal misapplications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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