The relationship between cognitive function and hazard perception in younger drivers

Journal article


Moran, Caroline, Bennett, Joanne M. and Prabhakharan, Prasannah. (2020) The relationship between cognitive function and hazard perception in younger drivers. Transportation Research Part F. 74, pp. 104-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2020.08.008
AuthorsMoran, Caroline, Bennett, Joanne M. and Prabhakharan, Prasannah
Abstract

Driving is a complex task; with research suggesting cognitive function plays a significant role in driver behaviour. Recent studies have investigated the role of cognitive function in younger drivers who are experiencing brain maturation and are over-represented in crash statistics. Emerging evidence suggests poor cognitive functioning is one explanation for this high crash risk. For younger drivers, the relationship between cognitive function and driving ability has been consistently shown for speeding and lane deviations. However, the driving skill most consistently linked to crash involvement is hazard perception, which is the ability to anticipate and respond to potentially dangerous traffic situations. The aim of this study was to investigate the cognitive correlates of hazard perception in younger drivers. Seventy-nine undergraduate students completed a hazard perception test and a battery of cognitive tests that have previously demonstrated a relationship with safe driving. The newly created hazard perception test measured accuracy of hazard identification, response times when anticipating the hazard, and response times when taking action to avoid the hazard. Hazard perception accuracy was significantly related to visuo-spatial skills, executive functioning and global cognitive status. Anticipation response times were significantly related to inhibitory control, with no significant relationship found between cognitive function and action response times. These findings are discussed in line with limitations in the study. Future research into the role of specific cognitive domains could lead to the enhancement of hazard perception testing for licensing with cognitive training and assessment, with the potential to reduce the crash risk of vulnerable younger drivers.

Keywordshazard perception; driving; young; crash; cognitive function
Year2020
JournalTransportation Research Part F
Journal citation74, pp. 104-119
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1369-8478
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2020.08.008
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85090237667
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range104-119
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online06 Sep 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted05 Aug 2020
Deposited15 Jun 2021
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