Perceptual processes used by drivers during overtaking in a driving simulator

Robert Gray, David M. Regan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


This study investigated the control strategies and decision making of drivers who were executing overtaking maneuvers in a fixed-base driving simulator. It was found that drivers were frequently inaccurate in deciding whether it was safe to overtake in front of an oncoming vehicle. One source of error in this situation was the control strategy adopted by the driver; in several instances our drivers initiated an overtaking maneuver when the oncoming car's distance was above a critical value, even though there was not sufficient time to complete a safe maneuver. Adaptation to closing speed (produced by driving on a straight open road) also had large effects on overtaking behavior. For all participants, closing speed adaptation resulted in decisions that were delayed, of higher risk, and more variable. Actual or potential applications of this research include improved training for younger drivers and the development of in-car interfaces that reduce closing speed adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-417
Number of pages24
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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