Transportation Research Record
Successful evacuations of metropolitan areas require overcoming unexpected congestion that reduces traffic flows. Congestion may result from accidents, incidents, or other events that reduce road capacity. Traffic professionals and emergency managers may promote deviations from planned routes to bypass an area of congestion and speed mass exit. However, some route changes may actually reduce traffic flow rates, and in these cases decision makers may want to discourage use of alternate routes. By using results of a behavioral survey of potential hurricane evacuees, this study identifies variables associated with the decision to alter routes and also identifies frequently used information sources. A dynamic traffic simulation with a decision-making model using this information is proposed as a means for evacuation decision makers to assess impacts of driver decisions. Results from more than 800 responses showed the potentially strong influence of effective advanced traveler information systems to support decisions made by hurricane evacuees on whether to use an alternate route when faced with congestion. Results of this study are a timely contribution to those seeking a better understanding of driver behavior during evacuations and improvement of emergency management efficiency and efficacy.
Original Publication Citation
Robinson, R. M., & Khattak, A. (2010). Route change decision making by hurricane evacuees facing congestion. Transportation Research Record, 2196, 168-175. doi:10.3141/2196-18
Robinson, R. Michael and Khattak, Asad, "Route Change Decision Making by Hurricane Evacuees Facing Congestion" (2010). VMASC Publications. 27.