Human error is a frequent contributor to road traffic collisions, understanding the human factors provides a deeper insight into road-user behaviour.

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Elderly drivers : do they pose a greater or lesser risk?

March 9th, 2011

There have been a number of highly publicised cases of elderly people driving “badly”, for example driving the wrong way on a motorway or at 9mph on a dual carriageway. Such cases have caused people to question the existing licensing rules for elderly drivers. Currently, older adults simply need to re-apply when they reach the […]

Your fault or mine? The psychology of blame

March 8th, 2011

Imagine this situation: You are driving down a very narrow road and you accidentally clipped the wing mirror of a parked car. There was no damage to either car, so no harm done, but how would you react? Are you likely to blame yourself for not paying enough attention or for being too risky? Or […]

Why drivers might continue to use handheld mobiles whilst driving

March 8th, 2011

Using a hand held mobile phone when you’re driving has been illegal in the UK for many years. This has been widely publicised and it would be difficult for any driver, especially one who drives as a part of their job, to admit not being aware of this law.   It’s now widely acknowledged that […]

The Anxiety Factor

February 3rd, 2011

While some people feel very comfortable behind the wheel and very much enjoy the driving experience, other people can feel very anxious when driving. Why do some people find that driving makes them feel this way? Does this anxiety influence their driving behaviour? And can this anxiety be reduced to help people feel more confident […]

Drugs and Driving

February 3rd, 2011

The effects of alcohol on driving behaviours are well known and the legal limits are clear and well publicised. The consequences of drug use on driving behaviours are not as widely understood, but with recent advertising campaigns (the “wide eyed” advert) and celebrities being arrested for drug-driving, levels of publicity are increasing. After alcohol, cannabis […]

The distraction of radio and music

January 16th, 2011

Recently there was lots of press reporting of a study conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory which looked at how listening to sport radio might influence driving behaviours. They found that reaction times were up to 20 per cent slower and last minute hard braking nearly doubled when people were listening to sport radio. Much […]

Do you know where you’re going? The psychology of satellite navigation system use.

December 10th, 2010

Over the past ten years or so there has been a massive increase in the amount of technology that we can use when driving. While this technology can either entertain us or aid our driving, it can also distract us. In fact, some research has suggested that distractions may account for up to 78% of […]

Looked But Failed To See Errors

December 4th, 2010

After an accident, people often report that they failed to see the other vehicle involved in the crash with enough time to avoid the collision, even though they looked in that direction. These “looked but failed to see” errors are very common and it has been estimated that not seeing another vehicle is implicated in […]

Driving when tired – how and why does fatigue influence driving behaviours?

December 3rd, 2010

Driving when feeling very tired is obviously highly risky behaviour and estimates have suggested that up to 20% of collisions could, at least to some extent, be attributed to fatigue. So how does being tired influence our driving behaviours and what can we do to reduce or avoid our chances of being involved in an […]