Changing Drivers’ Behavior

Recent years have seen a remarkable increase in the numerous obstacles encountered by a spectrum of drivers - novice and experienced alike. But eye movement research achieved by the Human Performance Laboratory at UMass Amherst, using eye tracking equipment, has aided in better understanding how to overcome some of these impediments – and has allowed for the exciting development of supplementary drivers’ training courses.

At UMass Amherst, a tightly knit team* of students, post doctoral fellows, research scientists and faculty concentrate on studying the actions of drivers of all ages, while offering programs for changing drivers’ behavior. Dr. Donald L. Fisher is the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory and Head of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Members of the team also come from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Psychology and the School of Nursing. Understanding attention maintenance, intersection focus, hazard anticipation, speed management and much more have been their areas of research. Eye trackers have assisted in determining where drivers are looking when encountering these situations as well as identified differences between the groups of drivers. And over the years, the team has compiled this research and has published numerous papers on these various subjects.