The Perception of Arrival Time of On-coming Vehicles at an Intersection

Caird, J.K., & Hancock, P.A. (1994). The perception of arrival time of on-coming vehicles at an intersection. Ecological Psychology, 6(2), 83-109.

We make an appeal to bring the theoretical tools of ecological psychology to focus on road-traffic accidents that result from making left turns. Following a review of previous arrival-time literature, we report an experiment that was conducted in a fixed-base driving simulator to determine the perceptual basis for judgements to turn left. We manipulated the arrival time (Ta) also increased. Significant main effects were found for Ta, gender of participants, vehicle type, and viewing distance; significant effects were also found for interactions for gender by Ta and gender by vehicle type. Men and women differed in their accuracy of judgements for vehicle types; men were more accurate in estimating the arrival of delivery vans and motorcycles than women. The accuracy of Ta estimation for the type of the approach vehicle and distance removed suggests that participants used vehicle-size information in their judgements. We present a discussion of a number of “disappearance” methodological issues and research applications.

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