Driving Wisdom: Improving Risk Management of Common Driving Hazards


Nearly 50% of accidental deaths in the Army during 2006 occurred in privately-owned vehicles more than from any other source. As a result, the Army has been actively pursuing ways of reducing POV deaths and injuries among Soldiers by improving driver training programs. An extensive literature has examined the link between driving hazards and risk assessment with crash metrics. Drivers begin by identifying a hazard, and then must assess the risk and decide whether or not they can handle it. More experienced drivers are consistently better at recognizing hazards and assessing risk and may also adopt better strategies for mitigating risk. By identifying and teaching these strategies, younger drivers can be trained to respond to risks in safer ways.

We have devised a unique method for understanding the strategies that more experienced drivers use, and for validating the impact that these strategies have on driving safety. Using a combination of critical incident interviews and reviews of naturalistic driving data we identified common hazards and designed a case-based driving scenario that incorporates those hazards and allows for the use of associated strategies. We implemented the scenario in a driving simulator to empirically demonstrate that the use of appropriate strategies can reduce the risk of the common hazards in the scenario. Then the scenario was embedded in an online training system that prompts users to respond with text descriptions of their likely driving behavior. Using machine learning technologies, the response is assessed, and relevant feedback, incorporating practical strategies for reducing risk, is returned.

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LaVoie, N., Lauper, U., Lee, Y.-C., Cianciolo, A., Foltz, P., Legree, P., & Psotka, J. (2008). Driving wisdom: Improving risk management of common driving hazards. Paper presented at I/ITSEC, Orlando, FL, December 1-4, 2008.


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