South African novice drivers: exploring hazard perception development during the learner driver training phase

Venter, Karien (2019-04)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

Introduction Novice drivers, worldwide, have an increased risk of being in a fatal crash. Despite reliable crash data, indications are that South African novice drivers are no exception and that novice drivers form part of the road safety problem. Study topic A key element of safe driving is the ability to recognise and react to potentially hazardous situations in the road and traffic environment. However, this is a skill that is developed over time and with experience. This study explores the novice driver hazard perception development of South African novice drivers over the course of their learner driver training. Purpose The study follows the journey of 26 South African learner drivers to assess the manner and extent to which hazard perception development takes place, during the learner driver phase. Methodology A naturalistic driving study approach was followed. Naturalistic driving studies make use of a data acquisition system to explore novice driver behaviour within the context of road, environment, and vehicle. A questionnaire collected demographic and risk perception information from the novice drivers while the data acquisition system collected image material from participants and environment as well as data on speed, location (GPS coordinates) and acceleration. Changes in gaze behaviour were used as an indicator to assess the extent to which hazard perception development takes place over the course of the training. Results The results show that although K53 learner driver training takes place in a highly controlled environment, there are indications that hazard perception and situational awareness are improving. The observed environment was mostly urban, and apart from changes in general gaze behaviour, scan behaviour at selected traffic environments were explored. Fixation on the front of the vehicle was significantly reduced over the course of the training. Indications are that scan behaviour in general improved with time and with driving experience. Female novice drivers improved their ability to effectively scan the environment slightly more than male participants. Conclusion Internationally there is a move to implement interventions such as safer road designs in support of facilitating a safer traffic system. The aim of this study was to provide evidence of hazard perception development in South African novice drivers and to recommend ways in which this knowledge can be used to improve the safety of the South African road and traffic system.

SAMEVATTING Inleiding Pas gelisensieerde motorbestuurders toon wêreldwyd 'n groter risiko om in noodlottige ongelukke te beland as meer ervare bestuurders. Alhoewel daar in Suid-Afrika ‘n tekort aan betroubare data oor hierdie soort ongelukke is, is daar aanduidings dat Suid-Afrikaanse beginner- en leerlingbestuurders dieselfde tendens toon. Studie onderwerp ‘n Noodsaaklike deel van veilig bestuur is die vermoë om gevaar in die pad- en verkeersomgewing betyds raak te sien en dan toepaslik daarop te reageer. Die vraag is of hierdie vaardigheid alreeds voor die opdoen van ervaring, m.a.w tydens opleiding om ‘n motor te bestuur, verbeter kan word. Doel van die studie Hierdie studie ondersoek die wyse en die mate waartoe die persepsie van gevaar in die padomgewing van 26 Suid Afrikaanse leerlingbestuurders ontwikkel gedurende opleiding. Metodologie Die studie volg ‘n naturalistiese metodologie. Die primêre navorsingsinstrument was ‘n vraelys. Hierop is inligting ingewin oor demografie, en oor die leerlingbestuurders se huidige persepsie en gesindheid ten opsigte van risiko. Tweedens is gebruik gemaak van kamera- en rekenaarstelsel wat aan ‘n toetsvoertuig gekoppel was, om data te opsigte van spoed, posisie (GPS koordinate), en versnelling (kwantitatiewe data) in te samel. Die analise het inligting oor die voertuig wat bestuur is, en beeldmateriaal van die eerste en laaste lesse wat die leerlingbestuurders ontvang het, ingesluit. Die doel was om waar te neem of en watter veranderinge daar in die waarneming van die padsituasie oor tyd ontwikkel het (blikverandering). Resultate Die waarneming het plaasgevind in ‘n streng gekontroleerde omgewing, waarin die leerlingbestuurders geleer het om die voertuig te beheer en die K53 observasies in te oefen. Die omgewing was meestal stedelik en, behalwe vir algemene blikverandering, is daar ook gefokus op blikveranderinge in spesifieke verkeersituasies. Die resultate wys dat leerlingbestuurders op die voorkant van die voertuig en die onmiddellike padomgewing fikseer. Veranderinge in die wyse waarop skandering van die padomgewing plaasvind het oor die algemeen verbeter. Die verbetering van fiksasie op die pad reg voor die motor was veral beduidend onder vroulike deelnemers. Slotsom Daar bestaan internasionaal ‘n sterk beweging na die implementering van ‘n padomgewing wat self-verduidelikend en veilig is. In terme van die uitkoms van hierdie navorsing is daar dus aanduidings dat leerlingbestuurders oor tyd meer bewus gemaak behoort te word van hul padomgewing. Die navorsingsbevindinge maak aanbevelings ten opsigte van hoe die kennis in die toekoms gebruik kan word om gedragsveranderinge teweeg te bring, met onder andere groter blootstelling aan verskillende soorte padomgewings en verkeersituasies voor en tydens opleiding. Veranderinge in die wyse waarop daar gedink word oor verkeersomgewings het beduidende implikasies vir leerlingbestuurders se selfstandige toetrede tot Suid-Afrikaanse paaie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106222
This item appears in the following collections: