DRIVER ILLUSIONS - NO MORE RISK
 
Rothengatter, T., University of Groningen, The Netherlands
 
This presentation examines the effects of illusion of control and optimism bias on driver performance and behaviour. It postulates that driver regulate their strategic and tactical decision making on the basis of a match between perceived competence and perceived demand. It proposes that this match is regulated on the basis of effort and that its optimisation is dependent on factors such as illusion of control and optimism bias which fluctuate depending on driver state, in terms of factors such as fatigue but also emotion, competitiveness and aspirational level. This implies that driver training aiming to increase driver competence only will not increase driver safety performance unless the driver acquires an accurate perception of his own competence (e.g. by providing feedback) and the driver learns to accurately estimate demand on the basis of (deliberate) environmental cues. Although these postulations are mere reformulations of obsolete risk theories, they allow more specific predictions of safety measures aimed at drivers.