Identification of emergency braking performance distinguishing levels of skill of motorcycle riders in an integrated real-life perceptual-action task
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Collisions with other vehicles represent the biggest threat to powered-two-wheelers (PTW) riders, and while emergency braking is the evasive maneuver most frequently required in PTW riding, many riders fail to perform it adequately due to constraints on response time precipitated by failures of perception, cognition and control actions. Effective rider training methods are necessary for the development of braking proficiency in response to emergency situations. This study proposes a testing and training paradigm that exploits a closer similitude with the real world scenario by maintaining the natural coupling of action (vehicle maneuvering) and perception (higher order skill) inherent in any coordinated response to an emergency event. The aim of this study was to determine parameters that can be used to quantify differences in skill level in the execution of emergency braking coupled with visual perception of vehicle motion in response to an imminent collision. This research paradigm uses an in-situ design which integrates the natural coupling of perception and action in a realistic yet controlled scenario. Participants performed emergency braking trials in a realistic and controlled scenario using a mock-up of a PTW and real car approaching an intersection from opposite directions with the car initiating a left turn maneuver across the path of the PTW (Left Turn Across Path/Opposite Directions). The results of average and maximum decelerations recorded reveal that PTW rider performance may be assessed in a reliable and objective way using the combination of vehicle kinematics and human performance measures. Moreover, results showed no correlation between skill in emergency braking and years of riding experience, nor with overall self-assessed skill. There was, however, a strong correlation between emergency braking performance and self-assessed skill in hazard perception. The results of this study will support a new training approach and provide insights for future design of active safety systems.
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