Behavioral Adaptation and Acceptance

  • Marieke H. Martens
  • Gunnar D. Jenssen


One purpose of Intelligent Vehicles is to improve road safety, throughput, and emissions. However, the predicted effects are not always as large as aimed for. Part of this is due to indirect behavioral changes of drivers, also called behavioral adaptation. Behavioral adaptation (BA) refers to unintended behavior that arises following a change to the road traffic system. Qualitative models of behavioral adaptation (formerly known as risk compensation) describe BA by the change in the subjectively perceived enhancement of the safety margins. If a driver thinks that the system is able to enhance safety and also perceives the change in behavior as advantageous, adaptation occurs. The amount of adaptation is (indirectly) influenced by the driver personality and trust in the system. This also means that the amount of adaptation differs between user groups and even within one driver or changes over time.

Examples of behavioral change are the generation of extra mobility (e.g., taking the car instead of the train), road use by “less qualified” drivers (e.g., novice drivers), driving under more difficult conditions (e.g., driving on slippery roads), or a change in distance to the vehicle ahead (e.g., driving closer to a lead vehicle with ABS).

In effect predictions, behavioral adaptation should be taken into account. Even though it may reduce beneficial effects, BA (normally) does not eliminate the positive effects. How much the effects are reduced depends on the type of ADAS, the design of the ADAS, the driver, the current state of the driver, and the local traffic and weather conditions.


Safety System Road User Behavioral Adaptation Driver Assistance System Safety Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TNOSoesterbergThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Transport ResearchSINTEFTrondheimNorway

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