Exploring the Relationship between Speed Choice Behaviour, Hazard Perception and Individual Differences
Janse van Vuuren, S. (2012). Exploring the Relationship between Speed Choice Behaviour, Hazard Perception and Individual Differences (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6485
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6485
Young, and particularly male drivers aged between 15 and 25 years of age are over represented in the crash statistics worldwide. In New Zealand, young drivers (15-24 years) represent only 15% of the driver licensed population but typically contribute to more than 50% of all fatal and injury crashes. The current study was conducted to investigate factors that may explain the over-representation of young drivers in crash statistics. For this research, a video based speed choice task was used to measure the chosen and estimated speeds on a selection of New Zealand road conditions of young inexperienced drivers and older experienced drivers. In addition, this study used a video based hazard perception dual task to compare the hazard perception skills of the same groups of drivers. Lastly, a number of self reported measures were used to examine if they could help characterise the drivers who consistently choose slower or higher speeds. Results revealed that the young inexperienced male drivers were more accurate at estimating the vehicle speeds and chose slower speeds across all the road conditions compared to the other drivers. In addition, drivers tended to choose slower speeds during night time driving and wet road conditions compared to daytime driving and dry road conditions, respectively. The young inexperienced drivers were better at the secondary tracking task of the hazard perception dual task compared to the older experienced drivers but then detected fewer hazards than any of the other drivers. In addition, drivers who chose consistently higher speeds in the speed choice task reported being more likely to engage in speeding, drink driving and become angry at other drivers while driving. Interestingly, drivers who consistently chose higher speeds were less confident in their driving abilities. The current findings suggest that young inexperienced male drivers were better at estimating the vehicle speeds and therefore chose slower speeds. In addition, it seems that the young inexperienced drivers tend to focus more on the secondary tracking task then detecting hazards compared to the older experienced drivers. This could relate to the fact that young inexperienced drivers need to use more attentional resources for the steering task and as a result they miss hazards. Lastly, the driver attitude questionnaire and the driving anger scale seem to be valid self-report measures in order to help characterise the drivers who consistently chose higher speeds in the speed choice task. Implications of the current study and future research are also discussed.
University of Waikato
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