October 4 , 2006. 3:00-4:30pm. Porter Hall 223D, Carnegie Mellon University

Traffic safety and driver cognition: Mental representations of time saved by driving faster, accident risks and other traffic parameters.

Presenter: Ola Svenson, Stockholm University

Driving speed on a given road depends on road standard, the driver´s age and sex, but also on factors, such as, speed limits (and sanctions), the driver´s driving habits and norms, the behavior of others ("traffic pace"), mental representations of weather dependent and other varying road conditions (e.g., friction), mental representations of predicted travel time and time that can be saved by driving faster if needed, mental representations of stopping distance and speed and mental representations of risks of an accident and speed (Master, 1998; Nilsson, 2004;Letirand & Delhomme, 2005; Elliott, Armitage & Baughan, 2005).

The present investigation will focus on a few of these factors acting both as incentives to increase and to decrease speed.

The perspective will be three fold: (1) the cognitive, (2) the perceptual-motor and (3) the physical perspective on driving a car.