Hazard Anticipation of Novice and Experienced Drivers: Empirical Evaluation on a Driving Simulator in Daytime and Nighttime Conditions

Considerable evidence from field and laboratory studies now indicates that a major difference between novice and experienced drivers is the extent to which they scan the world in front of them. One index is that experienced drivers make more horizontal eye movements than do novice drivers. In addition, the difference in eye movements between novice and experienced drivers in a driving simulator is not just a global pattern of behavior, since experienced drivers are more likely to examine specific areas of the visual display that could either contain a potential hazard or signal that a potentially hazardous situation is coming. The daytime simulator scenarios used had several cues that signaled potential risk. The present studies examined whether this advantage for experienced drivers would be (a) smaller in nighttime conditions when the cues would be much less salient and (b) smaller if some risks were foreshadowed with salient cues. The data indicated that neither change reduced the advantage for experienced drivers, even though the absolute level of performance changed for both groups (i.e., reduced in nighttime conditions and enhanced by foreshadowing cues). Thus, it appears that the expertise of experienced drivers that induces them to attend to areas where potential risks could appear is applied in a fairly wide range of situations. This finding suggests that inducing this expertise in younger drivers through training may have a significant effect on crash rates.


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  • Accession Number: 01044908
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309104357
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 5:54PM