Risky Decision-Making and Hazard Prediction are Negatively Related and Could Be Assessed Independently Using Driving Footage
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DrivingHazard detectionAnticipationHazard perceptionRisk estimationDecision taking
Castro C... [et al.]. Risky Decision-Making and Hazard Prediction are Negatively Related and Could Be Assessed Independently Using Driving Footage. Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2021;14:857-876 [https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S305979]
SponsorshipGovernment Delegation grants for the National Plan on Drugs", Spain
Introduction: Traffic collisions are a principal cause of death in Europe, disproportionately affecting young drivers. Driving safety depends not only on our ability to anticipate and respond to dangers on the road but also on the level of risk we are willing to engage within our own driving behaviour. Methods: Hazard prediction (HPr) and risky decision-making (RDM) tests were given to three groups of young Spaniards (169 participants): 54 non-drivers (M=20), 65 novice (M=21) and, 50 experienced drivers (M=26 years old). Both tests presented participants with video clips of driving recorded from the driver’s perspective. The HPr test contained hazardous situations caused by the actions of another road user (eg, a pedestrian crossing the road). Each HPr clip was occluded as a hazard began to unfold and participants were asked to predict “what happens next?” They selected their answer from four on-screen options. The RDM test used clips where any imminent danger would be provoked by the film-car driver’s risky behaviour (eg, overtaking illegally). Participants were asked to report the probability of following certain types of risky behaviour (eg, “Would you go forward with the lights on amber?” or “Would you overtake the cyclist/lorry/bus at this point?”). In addition, the effect of the locality of the driving scenarios was manipulated: they could take place in the participant’s native country (Spain) or in a different country (UK). Results: Non-drivers and novice drivers were less able to predict upcoming hazards and more likely to make risky decisions. Driving scenarios from another country (UK) provoked riskier decisions than those from the participants’ home country (Spain). Conclusion: Improvement in HPr skills among novice or new drivers poses a huge challenge as far as driver training is concerned, though it is only part of the solution. Young inexperienced drivers’ willingness to engage in risky behaviour also needs to be tackled. Our results suggest that such RDM can be assessed in a similar way to HPr skill, using a naturalistic approach, which raises the possibility of assessing and training drivers on a wider range of safety-related behaviours.