Whetsel: The Accuracy of Drivers’ Perceptions of the Effects of Glare on Their Ability to Recognize Pedestrians at Night

To Psychology students and faculty,

Stephanie Whetsel will be defending her thesis proposal Tuesday, December 7 at 12:30 pm in the conference room (419).

All are welcome to attend.

The Accuracy of Drivers’ Perceptions of the Effects of Glare on Their Ability to Recognize Pedestrians at Night

Abstract:

Drivers typically under-use their high beam headlights at night; even on empty roads most drivers rely on their low beams despite the limited visibility that low beams provide. Recent data suggest that one factor that might help explain drivers’ reluctance to use their high beams is that drivers may overestimate the debilitating effects of an opposing vehicle’s headlamps. This project extends this research by quantifying the accuracy with which drivers recognize that a pedestrian is present on a roadway shoulder at night. Participants’ estimates of the distance at which they would be able to recognize a pedestrian when glare is present will be compared with actual recognition distances. It is expected that participants will overestimate the effect of glare on their ability to recognize pedestrians.

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