July 19, 2012
David Krauss, PhD, Jay Todd, PhD and Genevieve Heckman, PhD, of Exponent's Human Factors practice have published a paper in Journal for the Institute of Transportation Engineers entitled "The 'Critical Window,' Looming and lmplications for Accident Avoidance"
Under conditions of low illumination, drivers must rely on detecting changes in subtended angular velocity to gauge the relative speed of, and distance to, distant visible objects. This paper synthesizes a tenable method for analyzing such driving conditions, based on years of research in automotive human factors. The critical window is the difference between when a hazard can be detected and when the hazard must be detected to avoid collision. The magnitude of the difference can play a critical role in determining whether a collision may have been avoided in specific situations of lowilluminance driving.
Date: 7/2012 vol. 82, no. 7
If you would like to download a copy of the article, visit the Institute of Transportation Engineers website (subscription required)