Effects of experience and electronic stability control on low friction collision avoidance in a truck driving simulator
Two experiments were carried out in a moving-base simulator, in which truck drivers of varying experience levels encountered a rear-end collision scenario on a low-friction road surface, with and without an electronic stability control (ESC) system. In the first experiment, the drivers experienced one instance of the rear-end scenario unexpectedly, and then several instances of a version of the scenario adapted for repeated collision avoidance. In the second experiment, the unexpected rear-end scenario concluded a stretch of driving otherwise unrelated to the study presented here. Across both experiments, novice drivers were found to collide more often than experienced drivers in the unexpected scenario. This result was found to be attributable mainly to longer steering reaction times of the novice drivers, possibly caused by lower expectancy for steering avoidance. The paradigm for repeated collision avoidance was able to reproduce the type of steering avoidance situation for which critical losses of control were observed in the unexpected scenario and, here, ESC was found to reliably reduce skidding and control loss. However, it remains unclear to what extent the results regarding ESC benefits in repeated avoidance are generalisable to unexpected situations. The approach of collecting data by appending one unexpected scenario to the end of an otherwise unrelated experiment was found useful, albeit with some caveats.