This thesis is concerned with car driver performance and the relative importance of a number of human factors which appear influential from the literature. A conceptual framework for viewing the driving task highlighted the abilities necessary for safe driving and the importance of perceptual skills and abilities and drivers' risk-taking propensities. From the literature it appeared that perceptual skills, particularly the ability to assess road traffic hazards quickly and accurately, were related to driver performance and yet were not taught or practised in driver training programmes. Tests were devised, including the building and validating of a fixed-base simulator, to measure these and other human factors which were considered important. A sample of drivers from the general public were tested and these were found to be generally representative of motorists in Berkshire and N.E. Hampshire. A smaller number of highly trained police drivers were also examined. Results showed that laboratory tests of skills and abilities were generally poorly related to driver performance although hazard perception measures taken during a test drive were relatively strongly associated with driving errors. Biographical and attitudinal variables were more strongly associated with driving record although the absolute sizes of the correlations were small. Measures of risk-taking propensity were generally most closely associated with performance. Possible applications of the results include the use of the simulator for training drivers in hazard perception and for testing the perceptual skills of licence applicants. Environmental factors which influence performance were also examined and road hazards which were generally misperceived were isolated. The safety margins adopted by drivers on horizontal and vertical curves were also measured and at some sites, relatively high levels of risk were generally taken. Recommendations were made for reducing the hazards. /Author/TRRL/

  • Corporate Authors:

    London University, England

    Birkbeck College, Mallet Street
    London WC1,   England 
  • Authors:
    • WATTS, G R
  • Publication Date: 1978-11

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 350 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00195162
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Thesis
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1979 12:00AM