Novice Driver Situation Awareness and Hazard Perception: An Exploratory Study
Varying definitions and approaches to the measurement of drivers? hazard perception are reviewed within a broad framework of ?novice driver competencies?; hazard perception is defined as a subset of performance elements and underlying capacities within this framework. Requirements to support the development of hazard perception training programs are discussed, identifying the need for a better understanding of developmental changes in young drivers? cognitive schemata, mental models and expectancies concerning road traffic system operations and the behaviour of other drivers. From the first in a planned series of studies to address this need, some preliminary results are presented, based on content analysis of driving commentaries by young, inexperienced drivers travelling as a passenger. Comparing commentaries recorded at night with those recorded during the day, it is tentatively suggested that the higher perceptual salience of some objects at night may tend to ?capture? attention, which might sometimes be to the detriment of overall performance. The effects of prior driving experience on the content of such commentaries are being investigated.