Cross-cultural effects on drivers' hazard perception : validating a test paradigm for developing countries

Lim, Phui Cheng (2017) Cross-cultural effects on drivers' hazard perception : validating a test paradigm for developing countries. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The hazard perception skill of a driver refers to their ability to identify potentially dangerous events on the road, and is one of the only driving-specific skills that has been consistently linked to accident rates. Hazard perception tests are used in several developed countries as part of the driver licensing curriculum, however little research has been done in developing countries where road safety is a primary concern. The extent to which hazard perception skill transfers to different driving environments is also unclear. This thesis therefore has two major aims: to examine hazard perception in a cross-cultural context, and to validate a hazard perception test for potential use in driver licensing in lower-income, developing countries.

Most of the experiments in this thesis compare hazard perception skill in drivers from the UK – where hazard perception testing is well established – and drivers from Malaysia – a developing country with a high accident rate where hazards frequently occur. Typically, hazard perception skill is assessed by showing participants clips filmed on the road and asking them to respond as soon as they detect a developing hazard, with shorter response times reflecting greater levels of skill. Chapter 2 presents evidence that Malaysian drivers may be desensitized to hazardous road situations and thus have increased response times to hazards, creating validity issues with the typical paradigm. Subsequent chapters therefore use a predictive paradigm called the “What Happens Next?” test that requires drivers to predict hazards, leaving performance unaffected by hazard desensitization. Malaysian drivers predicted hazards less accurately than UK drivers in all cross-cultural experiments, indicating that exposure to a greater number of hazards on Malaysian roads did not have a positive effect on participants’ predictive hazard perception skill. Further experiments indicated that explicit knowledge plays a minor role in the “What Happens Next?” test, and that experienced drivers appear to compensate for reduced visual information more effectively than novices. Experienced drivers from both Malaysia and the UK also outscored novices in all experiments using the predictive paradigm, suggesting the “What Happens Next?” test provides a valid measure of hazard perception skill and may offer a practical alternative for hazard perception testing in developing and even developed countries.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Sheppard, Elizabeth
Crundall, David
Chapman, Peter
Keywords: hazard perception; driving; driving experience; what happens next; hazard prediction; cross-cultural effects
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Science and Engineering — Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 39867
Depositing User: LIM, PUI CHENG
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2017 05:55
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2021 13:35

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