The effects of changes in driver perception on rural curve negotiation

David Shinar, Thomas H. Rockwell, Joseph A. Malecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


When the driver’s limited perspective view of a curve differs significantly from the #x2019;x2018;bird’s-eye’ view of that curve, he or she is likely to misperceive its demands. In this study an innovative sign and modifications presumed to affect the driver's perception of curvature, road width, and his or her own speed were applied to rural curves with high accident rates. Approach speeds of regular road users and the visual search patterns oftest drivers were measured before and after modifications. The results indicated that (1) the innovative sign had little effect on road users' approach speed and on test drivers' visual scanning; (2) modifications yielding an increase in the perceived angle of the curve, narrowing of the road, and increased speed perception had significant, but different. effects on drivers' approach speed, and on selected visual search parameters; (3) the effects on road users' speed were limited to the sites of the test curves and did not extend to the sites of following curves; and (4) in two ofthe three modification sites they dissipated within thirty days. It is concluded that perceptual modifications may be an effective tool to affect the behaviour of transient drivers unfamiliar with the high accident curves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-275
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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