Tactical Steering Behaviour under Irrevocable Visual Occlusion

To investigate the extent of a driver’s mental model with irrevocable visual occlusion and analyzing the distance to crash. Drivers have a mental model of the immediate surroundings which allows them to predict their own as well as others’ travel paths. To navigate safely through traffic, this mental model has to be updated frequently to remain valid. In between information sampling events, the mental model will become outdated over time, as the traffic system is dynamic. A simulator study with 22 participants was conducted to investigate the information decay in the mental model. This was implemented by extending visual occlusion until the driver collided with another vehicle or ran off the road, thus providing an estimate of how long it takes until the mental model becomes obsolete. An analysis of variance with the factors curve direction, curve radius and traffic showed that curve radius did not influence the distance to crash. Without traffic, drivers veered off the road sooner in right curves. Adding traffic eliminated this difference. Traffic ahead led to a shortened distance to crash. Compared to a tangential travel path from the current lateral position at the time of the occlusion, drivers crashed on average 2.6 times later than they would have, had they not had any mental model of the situation. The drivers’ mental representation of the future situation seems to include information on how to act, to alleviate deviations in yaw angle, including and considering the presence of other road users.


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  • Accession Number: 01669999
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 2 2018 11:07AM