Attention all “drivers” : You could be to blame, no matter your behaviour or the level of vehicle automation
Wotton, Michelle E. L., Bennett, Joanne M., Modesto, Oscar and Challinor, Kirsten L.. (2022). Attention all “drivers” : You could be to blame, no matter your behaviour or the level of vehicle automation. Transportation Research Part F : Psychology and Behaviour. 87, pp. 219-235. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2022.03.021
|Wotton, Michelle E. L., Bennett, Joanne M., Modesto, Oscar and Challinor, Kirsten L.
Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of human deaths worldwide, with crashes predominately attributed to failures of human drivers. Whilst increasing vehicle automation is argued to reduce road crashes via decreased driver involvement, automation also raises concerns around driver blame and stakeholder responsibility. This study examines blame for crash scenarios across four different forms of driver distraction behaviours (phone, sleep, work and driving under the influence), and across four levels of vehicle automation (no automation [manual], partially automated, highly automated, fully automated), using a mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods approach. Participants (n = 205) were randomised into one of the four levels of vehicle automation and were presented with vignette crash scenarios involving a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle. Results revealed that scenarios varying driver behavior at the time of the crash, had no significant impact on participants’ blame attribution or selected course of action. The qualitative analysis revealed that despite semantic distinction between some driver behaviours, drivers were deemed responsible for the crash. As automation increased, attribution of blame towards the driver decreased, but did not disappear. Blame simultaneously increased towards other stakeholders including the manufacturer and the government, as level of automation increased. These findings mirror that of previous research and further highlight the need for legal frameworks for crashes with automated vehicles, irrespective of driver behaviours.
|Transportation Research Part F : Psychology and Behaviour
|87, pp. 219-235
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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File Access Level
|23 Apr 2022
|Publication process dates
|31 Mar 2022
|15 Mar 2023
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