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Expert Drivers and Situational Awareness

Pammer, K., Liu, Y., Borzycki, M.

Driver Psychology 1

ARSC conference 2017

Situational Awareness (SA) refers to knowing what is happening around you, and is closely related to task performance and safety. Here, we were interested in how SA differs between expert (paramedics) and non-expert drivers, controlling for memory, driving experience and age. We demonstrated that non-experts were better at reporting low-level perceptual features (e.g., "there is a blue car"), but experts were better at understanding the situation and predicting future events (e.g.,"that car may pull out into the lane we are in"). The results are discussed in terms of rapid strategy development that might occur with experts compared with non-expert drivers.