The effect of age and experience on hazard perception and speed choice in male drivers
Crosswell, R. J. (2012). The effect of age and experience on hazard perception and speed choice in male drivers (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6608
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6608
There are many deaths on New Zealand roads each year, due to speeding related incidents. Teenage drivers (aged 15 to 24 years) are excessively represented in crash statistics. Young drivers seem to have poor hazard perception abilities compared to that of Older Experienced drivers, and may have problems choosing the appropriate speed for the road conditions. While speeding is difficult to measure in real world situations, the use of a laboratory speed choice task in the current study allowed for speed choice to be studied in a controlled laboratory setting, in an objective way. The current experiment investigated hazard perception and speed choice in males (with higher crash statistics compared to females) using four groups, Young Novice, Advanced Novice, Young Experienced and Older Experienced drivers. Independent variables included age (ranging from 15 to 60 years), experience (Young Novice, Advanced Novice, Young Experienced and Older Experienced) and differing weather conditions (dry and wet) on rural roads and day and night conditions on urban roads. Participants were given a hazard perception dual task as per where they had a primary task of detecting immediate hazards, as well as performing a secondary task of keeping a small dot within a small square, stimulating the steering in real driving. For the Video Speed Choice Task (VST), participants were shown the video clips and asked “how fast do you think you were travelling?” And “what would be the ideal speed appropriate for the road conditions?” The results showed that younger drivers were more likely to select slower speeds, closer to the speed limit, whereas Older Experienced drivers chose greater speeds. Slower speeds were chosen during night-time conditions, and wet conditions. These unexpected results may be for a number of reasons, to be discussed in the following thesis. They will be examined in terms of the current literature on hazard perception, speed choice and driver safety in New Zealand and overseas. Implications of the current study and future research will also be discussed.
University of Waikato
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