Conference Proceeding

Neuropsychological Predictors of Safety in Urban Left-Turn Scenarios

Authors: , , , , , , ,


Left turns at urban intersections can be dangerous, especially when views are obstructed or pedestrians are present. Impairments in driver vision, motor, and cognition functions may further increase left-turn risk. We examined this problem in a simulated environment that included left-turn scenarios to study the driving behaviors of 28 drivers, ages 37 to 88 years, six of whom had “Useful Field of View” (UFOV) impairments. Subjects also completed a battery of neuropsychological tests. The simulated drive included an urban section with six left turns in three types of scenarios: 1) a semi truck blocking the view of oncoming traffic, 2) a lead vehicle obstruction, and 3) a pedestrian crossing ahead of the turning driver. Results showed a mean (SD) of 1.46 (1.60) collisions per driver (range 0 to 7), 83% of which occurred at intersections with semi trucks. Far visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, UFOV, Mini Mental State Examination, TrailMaking Test Part B, the Wisconsin Card Sort task, and age were all associated with the total number of collisions (Pearson correlation magnitudes between 0.37 to 0.77; p-values<0.05). Spearman correlations were less significant. Findings indicate that visual obstruction by on oncoming semi-truck is a particularly dangerous left-turn situation.


How to Cite: Dawson, J. , Yu, L. , Chen, K. , Rusch, M. , Johnson, A. , Aksan, N. , Sunda, T. & Hiramatsu, M. (2013) “Neuropsychological Predictors of Safety in Urban Left-Turn Scenarios”, Driving Assessment Conference. 7(2013). doi: