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Identifying Pedal Misapplication Behavior Using Event Data Recorders

Journal Article
ISSN: 2641-9645, e-ISSN: 2641-9645
Published March 29, 2022 by SAE International in United States
Identifying Pedal Misapplication Behavior Using Event Data Recorders
Citation: Smith, C., Sherony, R., Gabler, H., and Riexinger, L., "Identifying Pedal Misapplication Behavior Using Event Data Recorders," SAE Int. J. Adv. & Curr. Prac. in Mobility 5(1):206-216, 2023,
Language: English


Pedal misapplication (PM) crashes, i.e., crashes caused by a driver pressing one pedal while intending to press another pedal, have historically been identified by searching unstructured crash narratives for keywords and verified via labor-intensive manual inspection. This study proposes an alternative method to identify PM crashes using event data recorders (EDRs). Since drivers in emergency braking situations are motivated to hit the brake hard, it follows that drivers in emergency braking situations that commit a PM would likewise hit the accelerator hard, likely harder than accelerator pedal application during normal driving. Thus, the time-series accelerator pedal position and the derived accelerator pedal application rate were used to isolate accelerator misapplications. Additional strategic filters were applied based on characteristics observed from previous PM analyses to reduce false positive PM identifications. These include a crash type filter, since PM crashes have been shown to manifest as majority road departure, end departure, rear-end, and forward impact crash types. After analyzing pre-crash EDR data from the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS) case years 1997 to 2015, evidence of PM was observed in 4.3% of weighted events. This result was substantially higher than the previously estimated 0.2% PM frequency [1,2]. The time-to-collision (TTC) at the point of PM was calculated for each case, and over 50% of cases had a TTC of less than 2.0 seconds. Over one-third of these drivers engaged the accelerator to 99% of pedal stroke or above and over one-eighth of drivers engaged both the brake and the accelerator pedals simultaneously during the recorded pre-crash period.