Perception in Driving

TOPIC 4 (easiest; most support): Design and validate a new test or new battery of tests to assess whether older drivers are safe to continue to drive. (You may want to narrow the scope of this topic to a specific context e.g., a new test that is suitable for a busy
doctor’s surgery or for a Queensland Transport office.)

The first thing you should do is download and read the hazard perception assignment written by Mark Horswill about hazard perception in driving – which is available on the PSYC3020 Blackboard website under Assessments  Assignment Materials (“Topic 4 – Hazard Perception Assignment written by Mark”). Note that this assignment does NOT meet all the current requirements for the PSYC3020 assignment (e.g., it doesn’t use the Assignment Template) – so don’t replicate these aspects of it or you’ll fail! Instead, pay attention to the type of arguments posed and rationale made as to why this new test should exist and thus be funded. In particular, look at how the new test seeks to address the key limitations of the existing measures.

Then search for and read the background information article cited below (i.e., Morgan & King, 1995). Consider all the measures that – according to the empirical research evidence – appear to be able to predict older driver performance. Perhaps you could propose a new test battery which included some of the measures found to be most predictive of older driver performance? Or maybe you could propose some sort of driving simulator measure in which older drivers had to demonstrate a competent ability level to cope with relevant challenging situations, especially those driving situations/ scenarios known to be particularly problematic for elderly drivers?

Read the articles given below to gain ideas of the sort of reliability and validity studies that could be proposed and how to describe them (e.g., Horswill, 2016a, 2017; Wetton et al., 2011). To give one example, you could examine the correlation between your new test or new test battery and crash records on a sample of older drivers as one way of establishing validity. This could mean proposing a study where you tested a few hundred older drivers using your measure and then found out how many accidents in which they had been involved over the previous few years (e.g., Horswill et al., 2015). Another option might be to examine if test scores could predict risky on-road behaviour (see Hill et al., 2019).

Don’t forget to consider the practicalities of your test. For example, developing a measure that requires use of a computer mouse or technology that calls for its users to react in a way not typical of driving responses, or even reading small text, might be a problem for this age group. These types of factors need to be kept in mind when developing your new test or new test battery.

Background information references:
Hill, A., Horswill, M. S., Whiting, J., & Watson, M. O. (2019). Computer-based hazard perception test scores are associated with the frequency of heavy braking in everyday driving.
Accident Analysis & Prevention, 122, 207-214. Horswill, M. S. (2016a). Hazard perception in driving. Current Directions in Psychological
Science, 25(6), 425-430.

Horswill, M. S. (2017). Hazard perception tests. In D. L. Fisher, J. K. Caird, W. J. Horrey & L. M. Trick (Eds.), Handbook of Teen and Novice Drivers: Research, Practice, Policy, and Directions (pp. 439-450). CRC Press.
Horswill, M. S., Anstey, K. J., Hatherly, C. G., & Wood, J. (2010). The crash involvement of older drivers is associated with their hazard perception latencies. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 16(5), 939-944.
Horswill, M. S., Hill, A., & Wetton, M. (2015). Can a video-based hazard perception test used for driver licensing predict crash involvement? Accident Analysis & Prevention, 82, 213-219.
Morgan, R., & King, D. (1995). The older driver – A review. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 71(839), 525-528.
Wetton, M. A., Hill, A., & Horswill, M. S. (2011). The development and validation of a hazard perception test for use in driver licensing. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 43(5), 1759- 1770.
Wetton, M. A., Horswill, M. S., Hatherly, C., Wood, J. M., Pachana, N. A., & Anstey, K. J. (2010). The development and validation of two complementary measures of drivers’ hazard perception ability. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 42(4), 1232-1239.

Other potentially interesting references:
George, S., Clark, M., & Crotty, M. (2008). Validation of the Visual Recognition Slide Test with stroke: A component of the New South Wales occupational therapy off-road driver rehabilitation program. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 55(3), 172-179.
Horswill, M. S., Anstey, K. J., Hatherly, C. G., & Wood, J. M. (2010). The crash involvement of older drivers is associated with their hazard perception latencies. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 16(5), 939-944.
Mallon, K., & Wood, J. M. (2004). Occupational therapy assessment of open-road driving performance: Validity of directed and self-directed navigational instructional components. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 58(3), 279-286.
O’Connor, M. G., Kapust, L. R., & Hollis, A. M. (2008). DriveWise: An interdisciplinary hospital- based driving assessment program. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 29(4), 351- 362.
Unsworth, C. A., Pallant, J. F., Russell, K. J., Germano, C., & Odell, M. (2010). Validation of a test of road law and road craft knowledge with older or functionally impaired drivers.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(2), 306-315.

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