Mental models of driving and speed: biases, choices and reality

Publisher's full text
Ola Svenson

This paper provides a review of research performed by Svenson with colleagues and others work on mental models and their practical implications. Mental models describe how people perceive and think about the world including covariances and relationships between different variables, such as driving speed and time. Research on mental models has detected the time-saving bias [Svenson, O. (1970). A functional measurement approach to intuitive estimation as exemplified by estimated time savings. It means that drivers relatively overestimate the time that can be saved by increasing speed from an already high speed, for example, 90– 130 km/h, and underestimate the time that can be saved by increasing speed from a low speed, for example, 30–45 km/h. In congruence with this finding, mean speed judgments and perceptions of mean speeds are also biased and higher speeds given too much weight and low speeds too little weight in comparison with objective reality. Replacing or adding a new speedometer in the car showing min per km eliminated or weakened the time-saving bias. Information about braking distances at different speeds did not improve overoptimistic judgments of braking capacity, but information about collision speed with an object suddenly appearing on the road did improve judgments of braking capacity. This is relevant to drivers, politicians and traffic regulators.

MEET US


6
Oct

Open seminar with Mistra SAMS international scientific advisory...

Mistra SAMS international scientific advisory panel (ISAP) is visiting Stockholm, and the program will host an open seminar where the panel members will give talks in their area of expertise.
19-20
Oct

ERPUG 2017

The five year anniversary of  European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017. 

LATEST NEWS


2017-07-05

Vehicle Driver Monitoring: sleepiness and cognitive load

To prevent road crashes it is important to understand driver related contributing factors, which have been suggested to be the critical reason in 94 per cent of crashes. The overall aim of the project Vehicle Driver Monitoring has been to advance the...


2017-06-29

Tomas Svensson new director-general

Tomas Svensson was today appointed Director-General of VTI. Tomas has been acting Director-General since January 2017. 


2017-05-30

Crash testing bicycles at VTI

For the first time single bicycle crashes have been simulated at the VTI crash safety laboratory.


2017-05-15

A case study exploring firefighters’ and municipal officials’ preparedness for electrical vehicles

A VTI-study presents a social perspective on new vehicle technology. It explores the self-reported preparedness of the fire departments (i.e., rescue services) in Sweden’s three largest cities regarding rescue operations involving electrical vehicles (EVs).


2017-05-02

Pioneering research on and about bicycles at VTI

Under what circumstances might cyclists lose tyre grip? What actions could then be taken to prevent a crash? VTI is currently developing a theoretical model of the behaviour of bicycle tyres during braking and steering in different situations and on different...


2017-05-02

Virtual pedestrians create efficient stations

If more people are to choose sustainable travel, then the public transport stations of the future must be designed so that pedestrians can get where they are going quickly, without congestion or queues. The Swedish Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)...