Conference Proceeding

Can Young Drivers Learn to Anticipate Hidden Hazards: A Driving Simulator Study

  • Siby Samuel (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA)
  • Tracy Zafian (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA)
  • Avinoam Borowsky (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA)
  • Matthew R E Romoser (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA)
  • Donald L Fisher (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA)


Modern technology makes possible improvements in training programs designed to develop young drivers’ abilities to anticipate hazardous situations. These improvements which come from increases in the range of scenarios to which young drivers are exposed and the number of times young drivers can practice the skills they are learning. In this study, a new Flash-based, PC training program that runs on the web, Road Aware® (RA), is evaluated using a driving simulator. The program was developed by State Farm. Twenty-four young trained drivers and twenty four young untrained drivers were asked to drive various simulated hazardous scenarios while their gaze was monitored by an eye tracking system. The results show that trained drivers were more likely to anticipate hazards than their untrained peers, a difference which was present for both near transfer (scenarios that appeared in training) and far transfer scenarios. The effectiveness of RA is compared with other hazard anticipation training programs that were evaluated on a driving simulator and in the field. It appears every bit as effective in general and more effective for some scenarios. Additionally, there is evidence suggesting that, for the first time, young drivers can be trained to anticipate hazards as well as drivers who are older and more experienced.

How to Cite:

Samuel, S. & Zafian, T. & Borowsky, A. & Romoser, M. & Fisher, D., (2013) “Can Young Drivers Learn to Anticipate Hidden Hazards: A Driving Simulator Study”, Driving Assessment Conference 7(2013), 355-361. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2013 the author(s)

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Published on
19 Jun 2013
Peer Reviewed