Driver hand position on the steering wheel while merging into motorway traffic

It has been suggested that a driver's hand position on the steering wheel can reflect the perceived risk of the road context (Walton, D., & Thomas, J. A. (2005). Naturalistic observations of driver hand positions. Transportation Research Part F, 8, 229-238, Thomas, J. A., & Walton, D. (2007). Measuring perceived risk: Self-reported and actual hand positions of SUV and car drivers. Transportation Research Part F, 10, 201-207). These original studies were based on field observations where only a part of the steering wheel could be viewed. In the present study hand positions were observed in a driving simulator during the performance of a demanding task; merging into motorway traffic. In the current study the whole steering wheel could be observed and hand positions were classified in three categories: high control, medium control, and low control. Differences in hand position between different traffic conditions were limited, and hand position did not correlate with self-reported risk or self-reported mental effort, but changes in hand positions do seem to be associated with changes in workload demand. It is therefore concluded that hand position can give some information about mental workload.


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  • Accession Number: 01153322
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 18 2010 9:10AM