This paper discusses the value and the need for the simulation of relevant driver information processing and control functions. The emphasis is on relevance of simulation to ensure that such a simulation would have the practical utility of helping to reduce some accidents.
An overall review is given of accident rate study findings, results of manual control studies, and conclusions based on psychomotor performance skills research. From this review, it can be pointed out that most people who drive a car, even as they are learning to drive, already know how to operate each of the various controls and switches and pedals found in a car. However, the sequence in which these should be operated, and the conditions under which they are operated are the critical factors to be learned and overlearned. It could also be pointed out from this review that the psychomotor skills of most drivers are adequate under routine conditions, but that these skills deteriorate under the stresses of speed, accuracy, task load, and information load. Such stresses can occur simultaneously under emergency conditions. Therefore, the overlearning of emergency driving skills is an important potential use for driving simulators.
Thus, this paper shows that the simulation of driver information processing and control must be aimed toward the training of specific population groups in specific control tasks and under emergency-type driving conditions, as well as under routine-type driving conditions. It is assumed that high-accident rate driving populations who receive such simulation training would be more adequately prepared to handle routine and emergency driving situations and would, thereby, reduce the likelihood of their being involved in a collision.