AN INVESTIGATION OF THE EFFECTS OF REINFORCED STIMULI ON DRIVER BRAKE REACTION

The purpose of this research was to investigate what effect added light and sound stimuli, placed inside an automobile, would have on a driver's braking performance. The research was designed to determine whether a driver's brake reaction time could be decreased by reinforced stimuli and, if so, which type of the stimuli tested would be most significant in improving a driver's reactions. The research was conducted on an open section of interstate highway under normal driving conditions. Two vehicles were used in the tests. The subjects' test vehicle was equipped with a light and sound stimulus attached to the dashboard. The subjects in this second vehicle were instructed to respond immediately to the activation of the lead vehicle's brake lights by depressing the brake pedal of their vehicle. In addition, the subjects were instructed to immediately respond to the activation of the light and/or sound stimulus by depressing the brake pedal. Each time the brake lights of the lead car were activated one of three conditions would occur: 1) neither the sound nor light stimulus in the subject's vehicle would activate, 2) either the light or sound stimulus would activate, or 3) both the light and sould stimulus would activate, in addition to the brake lights of the lead car. The reinforced stimuli inside the subject's vehicle could only be activated by the activation of the lead car's brake lights. The reaction times needed for the subject to respond to these stimuli were recorded. The test subjects were separated into two age groups: under thirty-five years old and over thirty-five years old. An analysis of variance showed that the age of the subject, the difference between the subjects, and the type of stimulus were significant in influencing the brake reaction times. The sound stimulus caused the most significant decrease in brake reaction times. /Author/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Proceedings of the 18th Annual Meeting, October 1974.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Human Factors Society

    Johns Hopkins University Press
    Baltimore, MD  United States  21218
  • Authors:
    • Plummer, R W
    • Armstrong, W D
    • King, E L
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1974-10

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 192-198
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 18

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127177
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 14 1976 12:00AM