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Speed choice and steering behavior in curve driving

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Author: Winsum, W. van · Godthelp, J.
Publisher: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Inc.
Place: Santa Monica, CA, United States
Institution: TNO Technische Menskunde
Source:Human Factors, 3, 38, 434-441
Identifier: 95737
doi: doi:10.1518/001872096778701926
Keywords: Traffic · Automobile driver simulators · Driver training · Error compensation · Safety factor · Speed control · Steering · Curve driving · Safety margins · Steering behavior · Steering error · Behavioral research · adult · article · car driving · computer simulation · driving ability · female · human · human experiment · male · traffic safety · velocity · speed · traffic · driving behaviour


The relation between speed choice and steering performance during curve negotiation was studied in a driving simulator. The hypothesis was that curve radius and steering competence both affect steering error during curve driving, resulting in compensatory speed choice. In this, the control of safety margins was assumed to operate as a regulatory mechanism. Smaller curve radii resulted in a larger required steering wheel angle, and steering error increased linearly with required steering wheel angle. Participants compensated for this by choosing a lower speed, such that the time to line crossing to the inner lane boundary was constant over all curve radii examined. Steering competence was measured during straight-road driving. Poorer steering competence also resulted in larger steering errors, which were compensated for by choosing a lower speed, such that the safety margin to the inner lane boundary was unaffected by steering competence.