Stafford: Observers’ Judgments of the Effects of Glare on Visual Acuity for High and Low Contrast Stimuli

Presented by: Ashley Stafford
Committee Chair: Dr. Rick Tyrrell
Committee: Drs. Ben Stephens & Patrick Rosopa
Details: Friday, January 20 at 11 am in Brackett 419

Traffic collisions and pedestrian fatalities increase significantly when driving at night. Vehicle headlights must maximize the visibility afforded to drivers while minimizing glare for oncoming drivers. The topic of headlight glare has become particularly controversial since the emergence of HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlights and the consumer complaints of disabling glare that followed. Recent research has begun to explore the possibility that drivers’ judgments of the effects of glare may be biased in the direction of overestimating the visual effects that glare produces. The purpose of the current study is to advance our understanding of observers’ reactions to glare by asking them to judge the intensity of glare that would be required to impair their visual performance. I will compare the actual impact of glare on the ability to resolve low and high contrast visual stimuli with the same observers’ judgments of the impact of glare on their visual performance. This comparison is expected to reveal any biases that observers have concerning the magnitude of the effect of glare on drivers’ vision.

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