Driver Perception of Lateral Collision Threats
Immediate collision hazards pose obvious threats to approaching drivers and therefore provoke emergency evasive responses. When the hazard is a vehicle intruding into the lane ahead, how its movement characteristics influence an approaching driver’s response is not well understood. This study examined the relationship between intruding vehicle motion and hazard perception. Seventeen subjects viewed first-person perspective recordings of a simulated vehicle travelling down a two-lane roadway containing several intersections with stop-controlled minor roads. Stopped vehicles were located at approximately half of the minor road intersections. Throughout the study, some vehicles (termed ‘intruders’) accelerated into the subject’s lane of travel at 1 of 6 pre-determined acceleration rates. Subjects were instructed to ‘brake’ their vehicle by pressing the space bar on a keyboard as soon as they perceived that a collision was imminent.