Transportation Research Part F Traffic Psychology and Behaviour

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 1369-8478
Publications
Article
These secondary analyses were conducted to identify predictors of self-rated driving ability over three years in community-dwelling older adults. From the Staying Keen in Later Life (SKILL) study, baseline and 3-year follow-up data for 426 older drivers were analyzed. Health, visual, physical, psychological and cognitive abilities were examined as prospective predictors of self-rated driving ability over a 3-year period, controlling for baseline self-rated driving. Results indicated that lower baseline ratings of self-efficacy and a diagnosis of osteoporosis independently predicted lower self-rated driving ability at 3-year follow-up. Interestingly, functional performance, such as visual, physical and cognitive abilities, were not predictive of self-ratings of driving ability across three years. Older drivers' self-ratings are more reflective of perceived self-efficacy rather than functional abilities. Self-screening tools for older drivers may be effective in improving the correspondence between perceived ability and actual ability in order to promote better informed decisions about driving regulation.
 
Article
Novice drivers (teen drivers with their solo license for six months or less) are at a greatly inflated risk of crashing. Post hoc analyses of police accident reports indicate that novice drivers fail to anticipate hazards, manage their speed, and maintain attention. These skills are much too broadly defined to be of much help in training. Recently, however, driving simulators have been used to identify those skills which differentiate the novice drivers from older, more experienced drivers in the areas of hazard anticipation and speed management. Below, we report an experiment on a driving simulator which compares novice and experienced drivers' performance in the third area believed to contribute especially heavily to crashes among novice drivers: attention to the forward roadway. The results indicate that novice drivers are much more willing to glance for long periods of time inside the vehicle than are experienced drivers. Interestingly, the results also indicate that both novice and experienced drivers spend equal amounts of time glancing at tasks external to the vehicle and in the periphery. Moreover, just as a program has been designed to train the scanning skills that clearly differentiate novice from experienced drivers, one might hope that a training program could be designed to improve the attention maintenance skills of novice drivers. We report on the initial piloting of just such a training program. Finally, we address a question that has long been debated in the literature: Do the results from driving simulators generalize to the real world? We argue that in the case of hazard anticipation, speed management, and attention maintenance the answer is yes.
 
Article
Older drivers are known to look less often for hazards when turning at T-intersections or at four way intersections. The present study is an extension of Romoser & Fisher (2009) and attempts to further analyze the differences in scanning behavior between older and experienced younger drivers in intersections. We evaluated four hypotheses that attempt to explain the older drivers' failure to properly scan in intersections: difficulty with head movements, decreases in working memory capacity, increased distractibility, and failure to recall specific scanning patterns. To test these hypotheses, older and younger experienced drivers' point-of-gaze was monitored while they drove a series of simulated intersections with hidden hazards outside of the turning path. Our results suggest that none of these hypotheses can fully explain our finding that older adults are more likely to remain fixated on their intended path of travel and look less than younger drivers towards other areas where likely hazards might materialize. Instead, the results support a complementary hypothesis that at least some of the difficulties older adults have scanning intersections are due to a specific attentional deficit in the older drivers' ability to inhibit what has become their prepotent goal of monitoring the vehicle's intended path of travel, thereby causing older drivers to fail to scan hazardous areas outside this intended path of travel.
 
Article
Driver distraction inside and outside the vehicle is increasingly a problem, especially for younger drivers. In many cases the distraction is associated with long glances away from the forward roadway. Such glances have been shown to be highly predictive of crashes. Ideally, one would like to develop and evaluate a training program which reduced these long glances. Thus, an experiment was conducted in a driving simulator to test the efficacy of a training program, FOCAL, that was developed to teach novice drivers to limit the duration of glances that are inside the vehicle while performing an in-vehicle task, such as looking for a CD or finding the 4-way flashers. The test in the simulator showed that the FOCAL trained group performed significantly better than the placebo trained group on several measures, notably on the percentage of within-vehicle glances that were greater than 2, 2.5, and 3 s. However, the training did not generalize to glances away from the roadway (e.g., when drivers were asked to attend to a sign adjacent to the roadway, both trained and untrained novice drivers were equally likely to make especially long glances at the sign).
 
Article
The increasing number of hybrid and quiet internal combustion engine vehicles may impact the travel abilities of pedestrians who are blind. Pedestrians who rely on auditory cues for structuring their travel may face challenges in making crossing decisions in the presence of quiet vehicles. This article describes results of initial studies looking at the crossing decisions of pedestrians who are blind at an uncontrolled crossing (no traffic control) and a light controlled intersection. The presence of hybrid vehicles was a factor in each situation. At the uncontrolled crossing, Toyota hybrids were most difficult to detect but crossing decisions were made more often in small gaps ended by a Honda hybrid. These effects were seen only at speed under 20 mph. At the light controlled intersection, parallel surges of traffic were most difficult to detect when made up only of a Ford Escape hybrid. Results suggest that more controlled studies of vehicle characteristics impacting crossing decisions of pedestrians who are blind are warranted.
 
The effect of microsleep duration on lateral controls: (a) SDLP and (b) SDSWA.  
The effects of microsleep duration on steering entropy by road type.  
Article
This study examined if individuals who are at increased risk for drowsy-driving because of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), have impairments in driving performance in the moments during microsleep episodes as opposed to during periods of wakefulness. Twenty-four licensed drivers diagnosed with OSAS based on standard clinical and polysomnographic criteria, participated in an hour-long drive in a high-fidelity driving simulator with synchronous electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings for identification of microsleeps. The drivers showed significant deterioration in vehicle control during the microsleep episodes compared to driving performance in the absence of microsleeps on equivalent segments of roadway. The degree of performance decrement correlated with microsleep duration, particularly on curved roads. Results indicate that driving performance deteriorates during microsleep episodes. Detecting microsleeps in real-time and identifying how these episodes of transition between wakefulness and sleep impair driver performance is relevant to the design and implementation of countermeasures such as drowsy driver detection and alerting systems that use EEG technology.
 
Article
Gigerenzer [Gigerenzer, G. (2004). Dread risk, September 11, and fatal traffic accidents. Psychological Science, 15, 286–287] argued that the increased fear of flying in the U.S. after September 11 resulted in a partial shift from flying to driving on rural interstate highways, with a consequent increase of 353 road traffic fatalities for October through December 2001. We reevaluated the consequences of September 11 by utilizing the trends in road traffic fatalities from 2000 to 2001 for January through August. We also examined which road types and traffic participants contributed most to the increased road fatalities. We conclude that (1) the partial modal shift after September 11 resulted in 1018 additional road fatalities for the three months in question, which is substantially more than estimated by Gigerenzer, (2) the major part of the increased toll occurred on local roads, arguing against a simple modal shift from flying to driving to the same destinations, (3) driver fatalities did not increase more than in proportion to passenger fatalities, and (4) pedestrians and bicyclists bore a disproportionate share of the increased fatalities.
 
Article
On September 1st 1993, a new law came into effect in Sweden, permitting instructor-supported driving practice from the age of 16 instead of 17 years and 6 months. The intention was to enable young people to gain more experience of driving a car before they acquire a driver's permit and thereby to reduce their accident risk.The study was conducted by means of a questionnaire posted to 601 17-year-olds throughout Sweden. The participants were analysed concerning gender, socio-economic standing (blue-collar and white-collar), and lifestyle (friend-oriented, externally-oriented and parent-oriented). The results show that men obtain a learner's permit more often than women (67.4% vs 57.2%) and that youngsters in white-collar families acquire a learner's permit in more cases than those in blue-collar families (67.4% vs 52.4%). One of the reasons for the latter group not acquiring a permit is that they cannot afford it, while children in white-collar families state that they have neither the time nor the desire. No significant difference was found between the three lifestyle groups.When it comes to the amount of practice, the men have been out on the road on average 39.9 h during their first 13 months, compared to 19.9 h for the women. In the lifestyle groups, those who belong to the so-called externally-oriented lifestyle have practised most. They have reported 39.2 h compared to the parent-oriented group with the least amount of training, 27.9 h on average. The friend-oriented group has 22.2 h of practice.When both lifestyle and socio-economic standing were considered, even greater differences were found. The white-collar group of the externally-oriented lifestyle reported as much as 51.5 h, compared to the blue-collar group of the parent-oriented lifestyle with only 18.4 h of practising.The above result is important because it is not in accordance with the intentions of the new driving practice system. The idea behind the new system was that all young people should have the opportunity for a longer period of driving practice in order to reduce the high accident risk during the first year with a driver’s license. If it is impossible for certain groups of youngsters to start their driving practice at the age of 16, the situation will become socially unjust and measures must be taken to remedy this situation.
 
Article
Eye-movement measures were found to be highly sensitive to the demands of visual and auditory in-vehicle tasks as well as driving task demands. Two newer measures, Percent road centre and Standard deviation of gaze, were found to be more sensitive, more robust, more reliable, and easier to calculate than established glance-based measures. The eye-movement measures were collected by two partners within the EU project HASTE to determine their sensitivity to increasingly demanding in-vehicle tasks by means of artificial, or surrogate, In-vehicle Information Systems (S-IVIS). Data from 119 subjects were collected from four routes: a motorway in real traffic with an instrumented vehicle, a motorway in a fixed base simulator, and from rural roads in two different fixed base simulators. As the visual task became more difficult, drivers looked less at the road centre area ahead, and looked at the display more often, for longer periods, and for more varied durations. The auditory task led to an increasing gaze concentration to road centre. Gaze concentration to the road centre area was also found as driving task complexity increased, as shown in differences between rural curved- and straight sections, between rural and motorway road types, and between simulator and field motorways.
 
Article
The present study examined the association between selected demographic variables and community-related mobility of Finnish elderly citizens. A mail survey was sent to 2500 Finnish citizens aged 65 and over. The overall response rate was 62%. Mobility was measured in two dimensions: overt travel behaviour and unfulfilled travel needs. Several demographic variables had a clear association with both dimensions of mobility. Sub-groups with reduced mobility included women, rural residents, the oldest old, and those without a driver license. When the interactions of single demographic variables were controlled for, significant predictors for hindered mobility were absence of driver license and rural-type residing. The results indicate that the level of mobility varies among the elderly, and there are certain sub-groups with limited mobility, often those with less overall resources. The possibility to drive a private car is, at present, crucial for older persons' mobility, which has important implications both for further research and policy discussion.
 
Article
Research using the driver behaviour questionnaire (DBQ) has found that aberrant driving behaviours can be categorised into: errors, lapses and violations (and aggressive violations, depending on the version of the DBQ used). There is also extensive evidence that it is only the `violations' score which is significantly correlated with, and predictive of, crash involvement. This consistency has been found both across different samples and different countries. However, recent research conducted on those driving cars in a work-related context has found a different factor structure and a different pattern of correlations with crash involvement. The present study extends this research by investigating the factor structure of the DBQ and the relationship between aberrant driving behaviour and crash involvement for a sample of truck drivers. Factor analysis yielded a four factor solution, that broadly replicated the four hypothetical factors (errors, lapses, violations and aggressive violations) found in the general driving population. Only the violations factor was found to be significantly predictive of crash involvement. This research provides evidence of the robust nature of the DBQ findings in populations other than the drivers of private motor vehicles.
 
Article
Moped riders, particularly youngsters, are amongst the highest risk group in traffic. We used an adapted version of the Driver Behaviour Questionnaire to examine why moped riders are often involved in traffic accidents. We conducted a questionnaire study among 146 young moped riders in the Netherlands. We found that aberrant behaviour of moped riders can indeed be classified as errors, lapses, and violations. Accidents involvement appeared not to be significantly related to errors, lapses, and violations. As hypothesised, moped riders were more likely to speed, and had a stronger intention to disobey speed limits when they have a positive attitude towards speeding, and when they think that others expect them to speed. Perceived control did not affect self-reported speeding and intention to speed. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our study.
 
Article
The present study used a mail survey addressed to Swedish drivers aged between 55 and 92 years (n=939) to study the relationship between driving exposure, health, and four types of self-reported aberrant driving behaviour as measured with a Swedish version of the driver behaviour questionnaire.Age and gender were the most important predictors of the tendency to sometimes avoid driving. However, even after accounting for age and gender, reports of own erroneous driving behaviour because of inattention (e.g., failure to notice a signal) and inexperience errors (viz., handling the car), as well as impaired health, were related to self-imposed driving limitations, whereas the violations and mistakes factors were not. Problems with activities of daily living were only marginally associated with self-imposed driving limitations, mediated through inattention and inexperience errors.The results support the notion that older drivers adjust their driving in response to their health and to the problems they experience while driving.
 
Article
This study reports an experiment that compared the hazard perception abilities of experienced and novice motorcycle riders using an interactive, closed-loop, simulator. Participants (n = 49) were categorized into four groups: experienced motorcycle riders with full driver licence, inexperienced motorcycle riders with full driver licence, novice motorcycle riders with full driver licence, and novice motorcycle riders with probationary driver licence. The participants were tested on three scenarios, each consisting of eight hazardous events. They were instructed to ride normally, but to respond appropriately to avoid the hazards. Under certain conditions in the simulator, we found that experienced riders (relative to inexperienced or novice riders) crashed less often, received better performance evaluations, and approached hazards at more appropriate speeds. Interestingly, we also found that some novice riders were overconfident in their riding ability. We discuss how this overconfidence might be related to hazard perception.
 
Article
The present paper describes a study that aims at assessment of driver behaviour in response to new technology, particularly Adaptive Cruise Control Systems (ACCs), as a function of driving style. In this study possible benefits and drawbacks of Adaptive Cruise Control Systems (ACCs) were assessed by having participants drive in a simulator. The four groups of participants taking part differed on reported driving styles concerning Speed (driving fast) and Focus (the ability to ignore distractions), and drove in ways which were consistent with these opinions. The results show behavioural adaptation with an ACC in terms of higher speed, smaller minimum time headway and larger brake force. Driving style group made little difference to these behavioural adaptations. Most drivers evaluated the ACC system very positively, but the undesirable behavioural adaptations observed should encourage caution about the potential safety of such systems.
 
Article
This test-track study assessed whether adaptive cruise control (ACC) induces behavioural adaptation in drivers. Eighteen experienced drivers drove a test vehicle while following a lead vehicle in three counterbalanced conditions: No ACC (self-maintained average headway of 2 s), ACC-Short (headway of 1.4 s) and ACC-Long (headway of 2.4 s). Results demonstrate that ACC can induce behavioural adaptation in drivers in potentially safety-critical ways. Compared to driving unsupported, participants located significantly more items per minute on a secondary task when using ACC, while their response times to a hazard detection task increased. This effect was particularly pronounced in those scoring high on a sensation-seeking scale. Using ACC resulted in significantly more lane position variability, an effect that was also more pronounced in high sensation-seekers. Drivers' trust in ACC increased significantly after using the system, and these ratings did not change despite a simulated failure of the ACC system during the ACC-Long condition. Response time to the simulated ACC failure was related to a driver's locus of control: Externals intervened more slowly than Internals. All drivers reported relying on the ACC system to keep their vehicle at a safe distance from the lead vehicle. Results are consistent with similar research conducted on lane departure warning systems. Driver awareness training is a potential preventive strategy that could minimize the behavioural adaptation associated with novel in-vehicle systems such as ACC.
 
Article
This study aimed to model driver’ deceleration or acceleration rates on a complex two-lane rural highway when approaching or departing horizontal curves under nighttime driving conditions. The data used in the study were from a field experiment conducted in Pennsylvania. Research participant speeds were continuously tracked along the experimental roadway. The deceleration and acceleration rate models when approaching and departing horizontal curves were treated as a uni-directional recursive system to account for the effects of upstream rates on deceleration and acceleration rates. This system was estimated using seemingly unrelated regression with random effects to account for the contemporaneous correlation across the two equations. Research participants were included in the model as random effects while several geometric roadway design features along the experimental roadway were included as fixed effects in the model. The results indicate that the explanatory variables associated with deceleration or acceleration rates when approaching or departing horizontal curves in the present experiment included several geometric design variables, such as curve direction, curve radius, horizontal curve length, and a vertical curve index. The deceleration and acceleration rates approaching and departing horizontal curves along the complex, two-lane rural highway included in this study have a larger range than those in past research studies of two-lane rural highways.
 
Article
The long-term effects of driving with an active accelerator pedal on driver behaviour were studied by using an in-car observation method over the period beginning 2000 until 2001. The system produced a counterforce in the accelerator pedal when the speed limit was reached, but could be overridden by pressing the accelerator pedal harder. Twenty-eight drivers were studied when driving without the system and then when driving with the system after they had used it in their own cars for at least six months. The results showed that their behaviour towards other road users improved, they had a yielding behaviour correct to a higher degree and were more likely to give pedestrians the right of way at zebra crossings when driving with the active accelerator pedal. It was also found that the time gap to the vehicle in front increased slightly with the system. There were also signs of negative behavioural modifications in the form of drivers forgetting to adapt their speed to the speed limit or the prevailing traffic situation when they were not supported by the system and in low speed areas; these effects, however, were not statistically significant. Together with studies showing improved speed behaviour, the results of this study augur well for great safety effects of the system.
 
Article
The Intelligent Speed Adapter (ISA) is an example of in-car telematics equipment that is developed to reduce speeding. It can be introduced as a policy instrument to improve speed limit compliance and with that traffic safety. However, previous research indicated that acceptability of this type of instruments is rather limited. Adopting a policy that may increase acceptability before introduction of the instrument is therefore recommended. To formulate such a policy, understanding the factors that influence ISA acceptability is required. To that effect, a causal model that disentangles the direct and indirect effects of predictor variables on ISA acceptability is developed and estimated. The model includes car drivers’ attitudes, opinions and beliefs on the speeding problem, the policy goal and the policy instrument ISA, as well as speed related behaviour and socio-demographic variables. This paper presents the direct and total effects of these variables on ISA acceptability. The results suggest that explaining clearly how ISA can contribute to attaining various personal and societal goals may be a viable policy to increase ISA acceptability.
 
Article
A key success factor in the future implementation of new in-vehicle technologies is in understanding how users will experience and respond to these devices. Although it is recognized that acceptance, acceptability and/or support is important, consistency in the definition of acceptability, and how it can be measured, is absent. In this paper we conceptualize acceptance as the attitudes towards a new device after its introduction and acceptability as the attitudes to it before its introduction. It is our goal to describe and conceptualize the most common and relevant socio-psychological factors that can influence acceptance and acceptability of Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA). By analysing the different theories and methods used in ISA trials we arrived at the 14 most potential indicators that could influence the definition of acceptability and acceptance. A test survey was conducted to determine if these indicators are relevant and if they affect acceptability. The use of a factor analysis helped to single out those questions that were deemed relevant in doing our conceptual acceptability analysis, and to allocate correlations between the different items. We conclude that we have found a concept with some main possible indicators that directly influence the acceptability of ISA.
 
Article
Rural stop-controlled intersections pose a crash risk for drivers turning or crossing the intersection from the minor road. In particular, elderly drivers are at the highest risk of a collision in this situation. Errors made during gap detection, perception and acceptance are the main factors that influence crashes at this type of intersection. This study investigated young (20–40 years) and old (55–75 years) drivers’ gap acceptance performance in simulated day and night driving conditions in a Baseline condition (STOP sign only) and four intersection decision support (IDS) conditions. The four IDS conditions were initial infrastructure-based design concepts that provided varying levels of dynamic information about traffic conditions on the major road to crossing minor-road drivers. Signs that provided detailed gap information (i.e., time-to-arrival values, warning levels for gaps) as well as advisory information about unsafe conditions resulted in the best performance among old and young drivers in comparison to signs that did not provide specific gap-related information (i.e., detected vehicles approaching, but not size of gap or safety of gap). Comprehension, acceptance and usability ratings of the IDS signs were also highest for signs providing detailed gap and advisory information on the same sign. Recommendations for further design and development of the IDS system interface based on driver performance and acceptance of the technology is discussed.
 
Article
In-vehicle systems that assist the driver with his driving task are developed and introduced to the market at increasing rate. Drivers may be supported during congested traffic conditions by a so-called Congestion Assistant consisting of a mix of informing, assisting and controlling functions. This paper describes the impacts of the Congestion Assistant on the driver in terms of driving behaviour and acceptance. Thirty-seven participants took part in a driving simulator study. The observed driving behaviour showed promising improvements in traffic safety when approaching the traffic jam. Moreover, positive effects of the system on traffic efficiency can be expected in the jam. The participants stated to appreciate the Congestion Assistant, although not all functions were equally rated. To increase the performance and acceptance of the total system, some refinements were suggested.
 
Article
Based on Finnish survey data, older (65+, n=1559) and younger (26–40, n=310) drivers’ accident rates were compared. In accordance with earlier studies, the rates were similar per driver (0.1) but there was a non-significant trend towards older drivers having more accidents per distance driven (10.8 vs. 8.3 per 1 million km). However, when the accidents-per-km comparison was made in groups matched for yearly exposure, there is no evidence for higher risk with increasing age. In both age groups, risk per km decreased with increasing yearly driving distance. We suggest that the previous perception of an age-related risk increase of accidents per distance driven arises from a failure to control for low mileage bias at all ages.
 
Article
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between age, gender, and risky behaviors of motorcyclists and their involvement in accidents. The results of a self-reported survey on motorcyclist behavior in the Taipei metropolitan area were analyzed. A two-step cluster analysis was used to classify motorcyclist behavior to different levels of risk within each of three risky behavior types. This was used to examine the regression relationship with accident risk. The results indicated that young and male riders were more likely to disobey traffic regulations, and that young riders also had a higher tendency towards negligence of potential risk and motorcycle safety checks. These “error” and “violation” behaviors increased the likelihood of an accident. However, in addition to these risks, there are additional factors that put young riders, particularly young female riders with the least riding experience, at increased risk of having an accident. These additional factors may be poor driving skills and less experience, all of which may result from the slack motorcycle licensing system. There should be increased emphasis on the necessity of providing appropriate training and a lower risk environment for novice riders.
 
Article
Every year, more than 500 people are killed on the roads in Israel and more than 3000 are seriously injured. The most dominant factor in understanding the chain of events leading to an accident is the human factor, and understanding driver’s perceptions of the issue are necessary for interventions to be effective. Internet “talk-backs” to accident news items were used as an innovative data source in the present content analysis. In contrast to other qualitative techniques, such as focus groups or interviews, the debate is spontaneous and open to a large audience. The aim of this study was to provide structured and in-depth information about road users’ attitudes and beliefs towards road accidents and their prevention. The total number of “talk-backers” during the 4 months analyzed was 2095. The driver’s behavior as the cause of accidents constitutes the most frequently mentioned theme in the “talk-backs”, more than the themes regarding the condition of the vehicle or the road infrastructure. The driver’s behavior theme was further divided into sub-categories such as driving skills, traffic rule violations, aggressive driving and uncivilized behavior. Lay people were also able to suggest prevention strategies, such as policy, enforcement, road infrastructure, and sanctioning. This information may assist policy-makers and safety experts in identifying the appropriate means of intervention, implementation and communication with the public.
 
Article
A statistical model is derived for gap acceptance at intersections, taking into account limitations of human perception. The model assumes the logarithm of the odds for acceptance of a gap as a linear function of the logarithms of gap time and the speed of the vehicle closing the gap. Fitting is performed against gap acceptance decisions as observed in real traffic at 12 unsignalized intersections by Brilon and Weinert (2001) [Ermittlung aktueller grenz- und folgezeitlücken für auerortsknoten ohne lichtsignalanlagen. Straßenbau und Straßenverkehrstechnik, vol. 828.] and in a driving simulator experiment by Hancock and Caird (1993) [Factors affecting older drivers’ left turn decisions. Technical Report, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, DC]. The model fit was reasonable for the traffic observations (R2 = 0.76) and very good for the simulator data (R2 = 0.97). Parameter estimation yields that the speed has a significant effect on gap acceptance behavior. Drivers crossing a priority stream tend to accept shorter time gaps as the speed of the approaching vehicle increases. This effect is stronger for older drivers than for younger drivers. It is proposed that this model may be extrapolated to quantify the relation between approach speed and accident probability. The validation that this kind of extrapolation would require, has not yet been performed.
 
Article
Sleep-related vehicle accidents (SRVAs) are a common form of highway accident, often wrongly attributed to other causes. SRVAs typically involve running off the road or into the back of another vehicle, with no braking beforehand. Because of a high impact speed these accidents are often serious. SRVAs peak around 02:00–06:00 h and 14:00–16:00 h, when daily sleepiness is naturally higher. Hence, time of day is a critical factor, as important as the duration of the drive. Most SRVAs are not due to sleep pathology. Many are work-related. Non-sleeping “rest” is no substitute for sleep. Sleep does not occur spontaneously without warning, and is preceded by feelings of increasing sleepiness of which drivers are quite aware. Driving impairment is usually worse than is realised by the sleepy driver. The best countermeasure is sleep, or even a short nap. Even more effective is the combination of a nap with caffeine.
 
Article
The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of four-wheel drive on risky driver behaviours and road traffic accidents in the State of Qatar. A thousand and five hundred drivers were approached and a thousand and one hundred and ten of these drivers (263 female and 847 male) agreed to participate the study. Participants completed a questionnaire including Driver Behaviour Questionnaire (DBQ), items related to socio-demographic information, driving experience, adherence to traffic laws (including speed limits and wearing seat belt), and drivers’ driving records. The results showed that four-wheel drivers committed more violations, errors, and lapses than small car users. Lapses were associated with accident involvement among four-wheel drivers whereas both errors and aggression-speeding were related to accident involvement among small car users. Four-wheel drivers also reported lower seat belt usage and higher speeding as compared to small car users. The present study revealed that four-wheel drivers were involved in nearly 40.3% of the road traffic accidents.
 
Article
By means of investigating the mental background to young male drivers’ risky traffic behaviour, this explorative qualitative study outlines a framework for the construction of interventions that could mitigate risk-taking among young male drivers. Seven males, 20–23 years of age, demonstrating excessive speeding behaviour when driving, were interviewed in-depth. Five themes, “Self-image as a good driver brings self-esteem”, “Commanding high speed – a pleasurable sensation”, “High awareness of risks, but notions of serious outcomes are not salient”, “Imagined accident scenarios evoke outcome conceptions” and “Perceived cause of accident influences anticipated affective reactions”, had central positions in their conceptions about risk-taking and accidents. The results were analysed in relation to previous literature on the concepts of Anticipated Regret and Imagining as antecedents to attitude and behaviour change, and it was concluded that interventions based on imagining the emotional aftermath of being the perpetrator of a serious accident should be developed and tested.
 
Article
Measures aiming at changing car use are frequently based on the assumption that car use is under motivational and volitional control. The aim of this study is to investigate the degree to which this is the case and how it relates to different purposes of car trips and characteristics of car users. Data obtained from 1-week prospective car logs made by 40 adult households living in Göteborg, Sweden, were compared to subsequent actual car use. In line with previous results suggesting that households have a modest degree of motivational and volitional control over their car use, it was found that 80% more car trips were made the following seven days than indicated in the prospective car logs. The largest discrepancies were observed for shopping and chauffeuring trips, the least discrepancy for work trips. Households having more than one car made more shopping trips than planned, households with children more chauffeuring trips than planned, and households with a higher income more leisure trips than planned. Weather conditions, illnesses, mode switches, and unspecified unexpected events were reported as reasons for the discrepancies between planned and actual trips.
 
SUV hand placement Car hand placement Hand Placement Item N Zero One Two Zero One Two Sig
Article
This research examines the observed steering wheel hand positions and the reported steering wheel hand placements of a sample of Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and car drivers. Following the method of Walton and Thomas (Walton, D. & Thomas, J. A. (2005). Naturalistic observations of driver hand positions. Transportation Research Part F. Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 8, 229–238), variation in hand position is found to be an effective, indirect measure of drivers’ perceived risk. As perceived risk increases, it is expected that drivers will be more likely to adopt a ‘10–2 o’clock’ hand placement to increase their control over the vehicle. Because they are a larger vehicle, SUVs are typically perceived by drivers as being safe, so it is also expected that SUV drivers would have a lower level of perceived risk, as evidenced by their hand positions. A questionnaire examining drivers’ hand placements confirmed that drivers do perceive that two hands on the top half of the steering wheel will give the most control over the vehicle, and also revealed that drivers overestimate their use of this hand position, when compared with actual observation. Observed hand positions reveal that SUV drivers are more likely to drive with one hand instead of two hands on the top half of the steering wheel, indicating a lower level of perceived risk.
 
Article
This paper describes an investigation of the influence of the position of a forward vehicle and following vehicle on the onset of driver preparatory behavior before making a right turn at an intersection. Four experimental vehicles with various sensors and a driving recorder system were developed to measure driver behavior before making a right turn at a specific intersection on a public road. The experimental term was eight weeks to collect data on natural driving maneuvers. The relationships between the remaining distances to the center of the intersection when releasing the accelerator pedal, moving the right foot to cover the brake pedal, and activating the turn signal and the relative distances from the forward and following vehicles were analyzed based on the measured data. The time it took to reach the center of the turn and the driving speed when each behavioral event occurred were also evaluated from the viewpoint of the relative position between the driver’s vehicle and the leading or following vehicles. The results suggest that the drivers approached the target intersection in a car-following condition, and that the positions of the front and rear vehicles and the vehicle velocity influence the onset location and timing of releasing the accelerator pedal and covering the brake pedal. Drivers began to decelerate closer to the center of the intersection when they approached the intersection close to a leading or following vehicle at a reduced driving speed. However, these influences were not reflected in the turn signal operation, indicating that drivers intend to make a right turn at a constant location while approaching a target intersection and that intention appears in the turn signal activation. The findings of this observational study imply that the method of providing route guidance instruction, in which the traffic conditions surrounding the driver’s vehicle are taken into consideration, is effective in reducing driver errors in receiving instruction and following the correct route. The results also indicate that measuring and accumulating different behavioral indices based on traffic conditions contribute to determining the criteria for the presentation timing just before reaching the intersection, which can assist drivers in preparing to make a right turn at a usual location. Driver decelerating maneuvers are used while driving without leading or following vehicles and while driving with a lead and/or following vehicle at long range, and driver turn signal operations are used when approaching an intersection under close car-following conditions.
 
Article
We assessed the time required for 80 experienced drivers (28 younger and 52 older) to adapt to a simulator and to steer in a stable manner. All participants drove on two-lane rural highways created on a fixed-base, interactive driving simulator known as the SIREN. Results showed that drivers adapt and steering behavior stabilizes within approximately 240 s of the start of the simulator scenario. Older drivers’ steering behavior is more variable than younger drivers’, but both adapt at similar rates. Fourier analyses of steering data showed that high and low-frequency components of the steering variability are differentially sensitive to age and adaptation.Evidence that drivers need less time to adapt their steering behavior to the simulation environment than is afforded by the currently used extended practice periods could reduce costs and potentially increase sample sizes. Researchers should assess the degree and speed of adaptation to other components of driving to ensure that drivers are provided with sufficient time to fully adapt to the simulator before data are collected.
 
Article
The aim of the present study was to examine if there are differences in drivers’ propensity to have different types of intelligent speed adaptation installed in their cars depending on the sample of drivers (i.e. Swedish or Turkish), their aberrant driving behaviours (i.e. violations and errors), and/or the technical solution used (i.e. speed limit information, advisory, supportive and intervening systems). A sample of 224 Swedish and 316 Turkish drivers completed a questionnaire including questions based on the driver behaviour questionnaire (DBQ) as well as questions about the drivers’ propensity to have different types of intelligent speed adaptation installed in their cars. The results showed that the Swedish sample of drivers was less positive than the Turkish sample of drivers towards having the advisory, supportive and intervening systems installed. Furthermore, drivers who frequently commit violations were less positive towards having any of these systems installed than were drivers who commit violations less frequently, while drivers who frequently make errors were more positive towards having the systems installed than were drivers who make errors less frequently. Both the Swedish and the Turkish sample of drivers were most positive towards having the speed limit information system installed, followed by the advisory system on second place, the supportive system on third place and lastly the intervening system on fourth place.
 
Article
Using a more controlled experimental setting, the present study follows up two previous studies; a focus group study examining participants’ own proposed adaptations of car use to various travel demand management measures, as well as quantifications of the expected extent of adoption of certain adaptations, and a study of actual behavioural responses to the introduction of a toll ring. An internet survey requiring respondents to state the frequency with which they would adopt various adaptation alternatives when given a small, medium, or large car-use reduction goal was conducted. The frequency with which a particular adaptation is implemented was not only found to vary with size of reduction goal, as expected, but also with trip purpose. The results were interpreted in the light of a cost-minimisation principle of adaptation.
 
Article
A paper-and-pencil experimental simulation was devised to examine car users’ adaptation to increased travel costs. In Study 1 travel related to different types of daily agendas was compared for two groups of undergraduates (n = 24) with different costs for car use. When car-use costs increased, a tradeoff between minimizing travel costs and travel time was observed for both more and less habitual car users. Car-use reduction was still less among the former than among the latter. Study 2 employed four groups of undergraduates (n = 48) to examine effects of learning when the costs for car use changed from low to high, from high to low, or remained unchanged. Small learning effects were observed when there was no change in costs. When the costs changed, asymmetrical carryover effects indicated a higher responsiveness to changes from low to high costs than the reverse.
 
Article
This study concerns the effects of a prototype intelligent speed adapter (ISA) on speeding in actual traffic. Twenty-four subjects were included in a test of effects of feedback on speed behaviour, mental workload and acceptance. Subjects drove an instrumented vehicle in normal traffic on various types of roads with different speed restrictions. Subjects completed the test route twice, half of the subjects received specific feedback in the second trial (experimental group), half of the subjects did not (control group). The groups differed in several ways, the most important being adaptation of their behaviour after feedback. Subjects in the experimental group behaved more according to traffic rules, in particular speed limits, than subjects in the control group. No significant differences in workload were found. Two types of feedback were tested to acceptance and were rated differently.
 
Article
Car drivers appear to reduce their driving speed in high task demand situations. Summala's [Safety Sci. 22 (1996) 103–117]; [in: J.A. Rothengatter, & E. Carbonell Vaya (Eds.), Traffic and Transport Psychology: Theory and Application, Pergamon, Oxford, 1997, pp. 41–52] model of behavioural adaptation (MBA) also assumes that drivers increase speed in low task demand situations or attend to additional tasks more. The present study investigated the relation between driving speed and task demands in simulated driving. Participants were observed under three speed conditions, driving fast, driving as if taking a driving test, and following a fast-driving car. The same route was driven twice under each of these speed conditions: once with and once without the concurrent performance of an auditory short-term memory task. All other things being equal, driving fast required more effort than driving more slowly, which was not compensated for by better memory performance. This refutes one assumption of the MBA. When following a fast-driving car, participants invested less effort than when driving fast. As auditory route guidance messages were embedded within the memory task, participants were forced to attend the memory task in all rides of the Fast and Accurate conditions, but not in the Car Following conditions. This can also explain why the memory task had no effect on cognitive effort. It is concluded that car drivers prioritise their task goals.
 
Article
Modern in-vehicle information and communication devices are changing the nature of the driving task. Drivers take it for granted that they are able to divide their attention between the primary task of driving and secondary tasks like monitoring information displays or using mobile phones. While it is commonly accepted that driver information overload can compromise traffic safety, attempts to introduce attention management within the vehicle are nowadays limited to restrictive decisions by legislative bodies. In an increasing number of countries, the use of hands-free phones is enforced by law. In some countries, the use of phones while driving is prohibited altogether. We argue that there is a more intelligent solution to the information overload issue, namely an adaptive man–machine interface that filters information presentation according to situational requirements. We implemented such a filter as a projective real-time computational workload estimator which is based on the assessment of traffic situations detected from an on-board geographical database. Workload estimates are refined by data from sensors that monitor the traffic environment and variables of driving dynamics. The prototype system is operational in a demonstrator vehicle. Whenever the workload estimate exceeds a threshold value, incoming telephone calls are automatically redirected to the telephone mailbox without notifying the driver. An evaluation field experiment that employed objective and subjective methods of assessing workload yielded promising results in terms of the possibilities of reducing workload by means of the adaptive interface. The results are in favour of the idea of a futuristic, situation-aware vehicle which has the potential to enhance comfort and safety while driving.
 
Article
The aim of the present paper was to examine factors that may affect the likelihood of adolescent passengers asking a driver to drive more carefully when they feel unsafe as a car passenger. The paper is based on a questionnaire survey carried out among 4397 Norwegian adolescents. The results showed that the factors influencing adolescents’ willingness to address unsafe driving were several. Female passengers were most likely to report that they spoke out to the driver when feeling unsafe in the car. This could to some extent be explained by gender differences in certain beliefs. That is, males seemed to perceive more negative consequences of addressing unsafe drives, to be less confident in their ability to influence an unsafe driver, to be more likely to accept risk taking from other drivers, and perceive less risk than females. In turn, these beliefs affected the likelihood of confronting an unsafe driver. Passengers disposed to experience anxiety felt most unsafe in their friend’s car, an experience that increased the tendency of addressing unsafe driving. The results also demonstrated that a relatively large proportion of the adolescents thought that it was acceptable to ride with an unsafe driver. This kind of belief lessened the likelihood of passengers addressing unsafe driving, as well as being most prominent among those who rode with friends who displayed the most risky driving style.
 
Article
Drivers theoretically acknowledge the need to reduce their speed in inclement weather, but in practice only alter their speed marginally. This paper examines traffic behaviour in three weather categories: fine, rain and misty conditions. Weekly spot speed surveys undertaken on the M4 Motorway, south Wales are analysed. Each survey recorded the 2-lane carriageway. Manual observations were made also concerning the weather at the time of each survey. For consistency commuter speeds occurring on the same weekday peak hour were recorded for a six month period (8–9 am Tuesday mornings), thus, effectively controlling many other external factors that might influence vehicle speeds.Hourly traffic flow information was obtained from an automatic traffic counter located at the survey site. Analysis of this not only confirms the peak hour, but also the consistency the commuters' daily travel routine.Speeds in inclement weather are compared with those in fine conditions (the control). This study finds a small, but significant reduction in mean speeds in both wet weather and misty conditions, and yet such speed modifications are not sufficient to compensate for the increased hazard posed by inclement weather.
 
Article
The Federal Hours of Service Act of 1907, which regulates the US railroad industry, imposes both maximum work hours and minimum rest periods. However, this act does not limit employees' weekly or monthly work hours, restrict the irregularity or unpredictability of on-call work schedules, or restrict mandatory commuting distances without compensatory time off. Extensive night work, irregular work schedules, extended work periods with few or no days off, and the policies, procedures, and agreements that encompass these work scheduling practices, all evolved within the limited provisions of this act. It is not clear, though, that broad changes in the hours of service laws are the answer to these problems. Consequently, the Office of Research and Development at the Federal Railroad Administration, with its Fatigue Research Program, has embarked upon a non-prescriptive approach to better manage fatigue in the railroad industry. This program includes the development and implementation of improved fatigue data collection methodologies, better measurement and evaluation tools, and more effective fatigue countermeasure strategies. The North American Rail Alertness Partnership (NARAP) has become an important means for understanding the fatigue-related problems in various operational settings, and for identifying specific programmatic areas that will better meet the needs of the industry. The program goals of improving the feasibility, utility and cost effectiveness of fatigue management are to be realized with the cooperative efforts of the government, unions, and the railroad industry, particularly though NARAP, and by broadly disseminating important technical findings through journal publications and conference proceedings.
 
Article
The aim of the present study was to develop a self-report questionnaire to provide a classification of aberrant road user behaviour in adolescent children. An Adolescent Road user Behaviour Questionnaire (ARBQ) was developed, comprising 43 items requiring respondents to rate the frequency with which they engaged in specific examples of road-using behaviour. The questionnaire was completed by 2433 children aged 11–16. Factor analysis showed that responses to the 43 items were best fitted by a three-factor solution. Factor 1 comprised items relating to “unsafe road crossing behaviour”, factor 2 comprised items related to “dangerous playing in the road”, and factor 3 comprised items which as a group were termed “planned protective behaviour”. A revised 21-item ARBQ was produced by selecting the items that loaded most strongly on the three factors. The 21-item instrument had good internal reliability. The effects of demographic variables on ARBQ scale scores were investigated. This study provided a tool that could be used in the future by researchers investigating adolescent road user safety. Possible avenues for future research include applying the ARBQ to the study of adolescents’ road accident involvement, and the study of the psychological variables that predict the ARBQ scales.
 
Article
The problem of reducing young drivers’ high accident rates has been approached from many different angles but a primary focus has been to try and find ways of changing the attitudes and behaviours of young people who are already drivers. It is hypothesised that there is a link between pre-driver attitudes, intentions and their future driving behaviour. By changing pre-driver attitudes and/or intentions, individuals may mature into safer drivers. This study approaches this young driver problem by looking at pre-drivers’ attitudes to driving to see how they change over time. The results from two questionnaires indicated significant gender differences and changes in responses (both long-term and short-term) over a 6-month period. It is concluded that adolescent attitudes and intentions towards driving remain fluid such that they may be positively influenced through pre-driver interventions, even if only temporarily. Regular pre-driver interventions could thus reinforce safe driving messages and create safety-conscious driving attitudes in the next generation of drivers.
 
Article
Despite the proven effectiveness of helmets in avoiding or reducing the severity of brain injuries and the law requiring their compulsory use, both by drivers and passengers of motorcycles, approximately 20% of Spanish adolescent motorcycle users do not wear them. This study analysed the pattern of motorcycle and helmet-use in a sample of Spanish adolescents (age range 14–17; n = 874) and the relationship this safety measure has with belief in its effectiveness and its use by friends and relatives. Overall more males than females ride motorcycles and this difference increased with age. Motorcycle drivers and passengers who always wear helmets consider them to be more effective than those who do not use a helmet all of the time. The best predictors of helmet-use among motorcycle drivers were their beliefs regarding the helmet-use of their friends and relatives. In the case of passengers, knowing that their friends always wear them and age were the best predictors of helmet-use. Programmes and campaigns promoting helmet-use must take into account the modelling effect of close referents or other role models in order to increase their effectiveness.
 
Means (and standard deviation) of frequencies of appearance of each content category for male driver (N = 299), by perceiver's gender and perceiver's age
Article
Gender differences in accidentology, notably on roads, are well documented and current research in social psychology tends to explain these differences by gender stereotypes, notably the association of risk-taking with social expectations concerning masculinity. To date, however, little research has explored gender stereotypes associated with vehicle driving. Beliefs about driving by men and women, as well as the effect of the age and gender of the perceiver, were explored using the free association method with 599 preadolescents and adolescents between 10 and 16 years of age. The results show that gender stereotypes are indeed associated with driving from the age of 10. While the representation of male drivers is already stable at this age, the representation of female drivers appears to develop with age. Furthermore, there is a notable in-group serving bias, but only among girls. The results are discussed in terms of an essentialist representation of genders, in-group/out-group relations, age differences in gender stereotypes associated with driving, and practical consequences on driver’s training and socialization to risk-taking.Highlights► Characteristics the adolescents attribute to a driver vary significantly with the driver’s gender. ► Gender stereotypes are at work in the driving context from preadolescence. ► Perceiver’s gender and age have an effect on characteristics associated with drivers of both sexes. ► These results question the emerging differences between boys and girls during driver’s training.
 
Article
This paper describes a survey of self-regulatory driving practices of 656 drivers aged 55 years and older. Types and prevalence of self-regulatory behaviours were examined and key characteristics of self-regulators were identified. Overall, the majority of drivers reported being very confident in potentially difficult driving situations and relatively few avoided these situations. The most commonly avoided situations were driving at night (25%), on wet nights (26%) and in busy traffic (22%). There was a strong association between drivers’ avoidance of and confidence in specific driving situations (e.g. night driving) and ratings of relevant functional abilities (e.g. vision for night driving). Logistic regression modelling revealed that those most likely to adopt avoidance behaviour were female, 75 years and older, not the principal driver in the household, had been involved in a crash in the last 2 years, reported vision problems and had lower confidence ratings. Implications for promotion of safe driving practices are discussed.
 
Article
Reaction times (RTs) of aiming movements are typically shorter when responses are prepared by informative precues. Aside from RT facilitation, response preparation can also modify the velocity profile of the movement trajectory. In this study we assess the preparatory effects of advance information about direction and number of lanes in a lane change task. Consistent with the findings of previous studies with aiming movements, prior information reduced RT and affected the velocity profile of the steering angle. The velocity profile was mainly shortened around the first peak steering wheel angle, and this finding is in line with the movement integration hypothesis. The results suggest that the findings from basic research can be generalized to driving tasks.
 
Article
A bridge with an integrated navigation system is compared to a less advanced conventionally equipped bridge in a full mission ship simulator to assess the extent to which fairway navigation benefits from information aids. Realistic scenarios were constructed including several demanding situations when navigating in a fairway. Twenty-two teams each consisting of two members with varying experience as Master Mariners and navigating officers participated in a repeated-measures design. Workload, performance and affective responses were measured. No statistical differences between the bridges were found on any of the dependent measures. The results imply that other factors than the available technology account for the observed differences across teams. A tendency was observed that experienced navigation officers performed better on the conventional bridge than the technically advanced bridge, whilst the opposite was true for less experienced navigation officers.
 
Top-cited authors
Timo Lajunen
  • Middle East Technical University
M. Mcdonald
  • University of Southampton
Mark Brackstone
  • Aimsun Ltd
Türker Özkan
  • Middle East Technical University
Dianne Parker
  • The University of Manchester