New video based tests to ease evaluation of drivers’ skills

November 7th, 2008 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Nov 7 (IANS) A video-based hazard perception test is being developed by researchers that will measure a driver’s ability to recognise and respond to dangerous situations while driving. Mark Horswill of Queensland University School of Psychology said the test introduced in July this year would help lower accident toll.

The test consists of a series of video clips that present various traffic scenes containing potential traffic conflicts that require the user to take action, such as braking, overtaking or changing course.

The user’s hazard perception skills are assessed by clicking the mouse on one of the potential traffic conflicts displayed in each video clip.

His research suggests that the reason drivers adopt smaller safety margins when pulling out in front of motorcyclists is partly due to an optical illusion called the size-arrival effect, in which smaller objects are perceived to arrive later than larger objects.

Horswill is developing a video-based hazard perception training package, which will be sent to all new drivers in Queensland with the aim of improving their hazard perception skill.

These findings were recently published in the American journal Optometry and Vision Science.

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