Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Human Factors Psychology

Committee Director

Yusuke Yaman

Committee Member

Xiao Yang

Committee Member

Sherif Ishak


Young drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes compared to more experienced drivers. Perceptual-cognitive skills such as anticipating and mitigating hazards may contribute to this risk. However, the connection between anticipating a hazard and successfully mitigating said hazard is not clear. One novel concept that may bridge hazard anticipation and mitigation is operational hazard anticipation. Operational hazard anticipation is the act of engaging in anticipatory actions in preparation for the possibility of eventual hazard mitigation. This study examined a possible measure of operational hazard anticipation, hovering one’s foot over the brake and accelerator, and the relationship between latent tactical hazard anticipation and operational hazard anticipation. Exploratory analyses were conducted to examine the possible relationship between operational hazard anticipation and collision avoidance performance. Inexperienced and experienced drivers drove through eight simulator scenarios, each with either a behavioral hazard (the hazard and precursor are the same) or an environmental hazard (the hazard and precursor are different objects). Experienced drivers engaged in operational hazard anticipation behaviors more frequently than inexperienced drivers and these behaviors were seen more frequently in behavioral scenarios compared to environmental scenarios. In addition, participants’ average operational hazard anticipation score was positively related to successfully avoiding a collision when the hazard was environmental. These findings support operational hazard anticipation as a skill set distinct from tactical hazard anticipation and can offer insights into how to train young inexperienced drivers to successfully avoid hazards on the road.


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