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This paper proposes a Markov model for analyzing the performance of periodic broadcast in vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs). Since there is no packet retransmission in broadcast, we only consider a one-dimensional Markov model. In the proposed model, we assume that the traffic condition is unsaturated and introduce a state to represent the situation when there is no packet waiting for transmission in the buffer of a node. Meanwhile, the state of a backoff counter changes only when the channel is sensed idle. When the channel is busy, the state of the backoff counter does not change. Moreover, we use a discrete time D/M/1 queue to model the periodic broadcast of each node. Based on this model, we also show numerical results to analyze the performance of the periodic broadcast in VANETs in terms of packet collision probability and average packet delay.