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Errors in judging the approach rate of motorcycles in nighttime conditions and the effect of an improved lighting configuration

Errors in judging the approach rate of motorcycles in nighttime conditions and the effect of an improved lighting configuration

Gould, M., Poulter, D.R., Helman, S. and Wann, J.P. (2011) Errors in judging the approach rate of motorcycles in nighttime conditions and the effect of an improved lighting configuration. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 45. pp. 432-437. ISSN 0001-4575 (doi:10.1016/j.aap.2011.08.012)

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Abstract

One of the key contributory factors for accident involvement is misjudgment of approach speed (Department for Transport, 2010). Past research has indicated that individuals can use the rate of visual looming in order to the judge time to passage (TTP) of approaching vehicles, and that smaller vehicles loom to a lesser extent than larger vehicles (e.g., Horswill et al., 2005). However, the judgment of TTP in nighttime conditions has received little attention. This paper explores drivers’ abilities to make judgments of motorcycles and car approach speeds in nighttime driving conditions, when only the headlights are visible, as well as the effectiveness of a tri-headlight configuration on the accuracy of motorcycle speed judgments. Results showed that individuals were significantly more accurate at judging the speed of two car headlights compared with the standard solo headlight motorcycle. However, the inclusion of a tri-headlight formation on a standard motorcycle frame significantly improved these judgments. A further investigation demonstrated that tri-headlight configurations with separation between headlights on the horizontal and vertical axes are most effective for yielding accurate speed judgments. The implications of the results for road safety and motorcycle design are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] First published online: 16 September 2011. [2] Published in print: March 2012.
Uncontrolled Keywords: perception, vision, looming, tau, motorcycle, conspicuity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Psychology & Counselling
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:22
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/8855

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