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Crikey! It’s cognitively complex.

Langham, M, McDonald, N, Faulks, I, Regan, M, Stevenson, M, Brown, J, Porter, A, Irwin, J D

Driver Risk & Behaviour

ACRS conference 2005

This paper provides a refresher on the complexity of the driving task by looking at cognitive performance of drivers. The paper discusses a number of psychological theories that relate to the driving task, and gives a number of examples of crashes investigated by TRL to prompt the reader to think of the potential implications of road user distraction. The incidence of ‘looked but failed to see’ errors is discussed, along with efforts to improve cognitive conspicuity to address this potentially common contributory factor. Links to a number of web based examples are provided due to the highly visual nature of the accompanying presentation. We make the distinction between human performance and human behaviour, we discuss why the former is almost impossible to improve and the latter can be manipulated in many ways.