Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-0399
2019-04-02

Hazard Cuing Systems for Teen Drivers: A Test-Track Evaluation on Mcity 2019-01-0399

There is a strong evidence that the overrepresentation of teen drivers in motor vehicle crashes is mainly due to their poor hazard perception skills, i.e., they are unskilled at appropriately detecting and responding to roadway hazards. This study evaluates two cuing systems designed to help teens better understand their driving environment. Both systems use directional color-coding to represent different levels of proximity between one’s vehicle and outside agents. The first system provides an overview of the location of adjacent objects in a head-up display in front of the driver and relies on drivers’ focal vision (focal cuing system). The second system presents similar information, but in the drivers’ peripheral vision, by using ambient lights (peripheral cuing system). Both systems were retrofitted into a test vehicle (2014 Toyota Camry). A within-subject experiment was conducted at the University of Michigan Mcity test-track facility. The study collected data from seventeen teen participants. Each participant experienced three cuing conditions (focal cuing, peripheral cuing and dual system cuing conditions) as well as three no cuing system conditions (two practice, a baseline and a post-treatment drive). The order of cuing system exposure was balanced among participants. All drives were approximately six minutes long and contained seven distinct visual hazard obstruction scenarios. Each scenario had a pre-defined critical point. The dependent variables were (a) the minimum clearances between the critical points and the participant’s vehicle, and (b) vehicle speed at the minimum clearance points. Results show that teens drove more slowly and maintained greater distances at critical points when cuing systems were present. These behaviors were more evident with the peripheral cuing system compared to the focal cuing system. These findings suggest that such cuing systems have the potential to address the hazard perception skill deficiency in teenage drivers.

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