Research Papers

Towards the Validation of a Driving Simulator-Based Hazard Response Test for Adolescent Novice Drivers

Filename FINAL-PAPER-24.docx
Filesize 1 MB
Version 1
Date added June 10, 2012
Downloaded 4 times/fois
Category 2012 CMRSC XXII Banff
Tags Session 1C
Author/Auteur Pierro Hirsch, François Bellavance


Novice adolescent drivers are overrepresented in road crashes. Several research studies have indicated that, compared to experienced drivers, novice drivers have underdeveloped skills in hazard perception (HP), defined as the ability to detect, evaluate and respond to dangerous events on the road that increase the probability of a crash. Some driver licensing authorities use Hazard Perception Tests (HPT) that measure reaction times or multiple-choice answers, recorded by mouse clicks, in response to videos of road scenes taken from the perspective of a driver traveling at legal speeds. To date, evaluations of the relationship between HPT scores and novice driver crashes have been mixed. Three potential explanations for these results are that: (1) higher crash risk drivers tend to exceed the speed limit which would offset the benefit of improved HP skills; (2) the current format of HP tests does not capture behavioral responses to developing hazards from drivers who are controlling a vehicle, and; (3) HP theory is under-developed and does not include a typology of driving hazards that would lead to a more fine-grained analysis of the benefits of HP testing.

To address these weaknesses, we developed a driving simulator-based Hazard Response Test (HRT) where drivers select their speeds and respond to programmed hazard events in real time. Nineteen hazard events are distributed at approximately one-minute intervals on three road environments, urban, rural, and expressway. Two groups of participants, novice and experienced drivers, drove the HRT as their responses to the programmed hazards were recorded. The results indicate that, compared to novice drivers, experienced drivers, on average, anticipate and respond earlier to almost all hazards. A standardized, driving simulator-based HRT has potential applications in the training and evaluation of novice as well as experienced and aging drivers.

Pierro Hirsch, François Bellavance