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Effect of driving experience on anticipatory look-ahead fixations in real curve driving

Accident Analysis & Prevention
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2014.04.002
  • Steering
  • Anticipation
  • Visual Attention
  • Driving Experience
  • Hierarchical Control
  • Real Driving


Abstract Anticipatory skills are a potential factor for novice drivers’ curve accidents. Behavioural data show that steering and speed regulation are affected by forward planning of the trajectory. When approaching a curve, the relevant visual information for online steering control and for planning is located at different eccentricities, creating a need to disengage the gaze from the guidance of steering to anticipatory look-ahead fixations over curves. With experience, peripheral vision can be increasingly used in the visual guidance of steering. This could leave experienced drivers more gaze time to invest on look-ahead fixations over curves, facilitating the trajectory planning. Eighteen drivers (nine novices, nine experienced) drove an instrumented vehicle on a rural road four times in both directions. Their eye movements were analyzed in six curves. The trajectory of the car was modelled and divided to approach, entry and exit phases. Experienced drivers spent less time on the road-ahead and more time on the look-ahead fixations over the curves. Look-ahead fixations were also more common in the approach than in the entry phase of the curve. The results suggest that with experience drivers allocate greater part of their visual attention to trajectory planning.

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