Date of Award

Fall 12-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Yusuke Yamani

Committee Member

Jeremiah Still

Committee Member

Cathy Lau-Barraco


Anticipating hidden hazards on the road is a critical skill for safe driving, one that many young and novice drivers lack. Training programs are shown to improve hazard anticipation performance in young drivers, but whether these training effects persist in the presence of salient and potentially distracting stimuli remains relatively less explored. In this study, we examined whether the effectiveness of an existing driving training program, Risk Awareness Perception Training (RAPT), on increasing latent hazard anticipation on the road persisted with extraneous bottom-up stimuli in the road environment. Forty-one young drivers, aged 18-21, completed a series of driving scenarios with latent hazards, after completing RAPT or a placebo training, in a medium-fidelity driving simulator with their eyes tracked. The eye movement data showed that RAPT-trained drivers anticipated hazards correctly in more scenarios than Placebo-trained drivers, replicating previous works. Additionally, the results suggest that the effectiveness of RAPT persisted even in scenarios that involve dynamic onset of pedestrians presented simultaneously with the latent hazards. The results imply that RAPT can improve drivers’ latent hazard anticipation performance, protecting them from the adverse effect of attentional capture by stimulus movements that coexist with latent road hazards.


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