Driver support systems and traffic safety

Theoretical considerations


Kuiken, M.J. ; Heijer, Ir. T



The report provides an overview of possible approaches when considering driver support and traffic safety. One of the main problems when attempting to understand traffic safety is the interaction between a large number of factors. A considerable number of models of driver behaviour and traffic safety have been developed, based in different theories of human behaviour, and focusing on different aspects of the driving task. The assessment of driver support systems should address potential problems in relation to the environment, the driver and the task. Assessment procedures should focus on potential errors in relation to each of the above mentioned components. The report summarizes different theories of task performance and human error and recommends areas for research. For instance, it is recommended that research to assess the impact of driver support systems on traffic safety should encompass: (1) the effects of driver support on the amount and quality of the information that motorists obtain while driving; (2) the effects of the timing and modality of additional information or support; (3) the influence of driver's (differing) skills, motives, abilities and knowledge; (4)the effects of driver support on specific aspects of task performance and the occurrence of particular types of errors; and (5) behavioural adaptations or other side effects of using the support system. However, the selected evaluation strategy will also be influenced by other factors, i.e. the type of support system under investigation, the context of evaluation. In the recent years, several general methodologies have been developed that may assist us in selecting the appropriate approaches and methods for the evaluation of different types of systems

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