Visual information search in simulated junction negotiation: Gaze transitions of young novice, young experienced and older experienced drivers

Helen Scott, Lynne Hall, Damien Litchfield, Diane Westwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)
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Older drivers and young novice drivers have problems negotiating road junctions and this is reflected in the accident statistics for these driver populations. Explanations for problems with junction negotiation largely focus on limitations in visual information processing and observation errors associated with age and experience. Investigations of drivers viewing behavior have used measures of fixation and gaze frequency and duration to highlight drivers information processing and search and capacity requirements. Method: The use of more specific measures of search strategy, such as gaze transitions, has been less common, particularly for the task of gap selection in junction negotiation. Gaze transitions provide information on the positional relationship of fixations, providing a useful tool for highlighting gaps in driver's visual information acquisition strategies. The gaze transitions of three driver groups (young novice, young experienced, and older experienced) were compared during gap selection in right turn junction negotiation man-oeuvres. Results: When scanning the junction, young experienced drivers distributed their gaze more evenly across all areas, whereas older and novice drivers made more sweeping transitions, bypassing adjacent areas. The use of a preview strategy in the decision phase was less evident in the older experienced group compared to the younger groups. It is suggested that response preparation requirements of the decision phase impact on older drivers' ability to maintain a preview strategy. Impact: The application of results to driver training interventions and future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2013


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