Horswill M S, Plooy A M, 2008, "Auditory feedback influences perceived driving speeds" Perception 37(7) 1037 – 1043
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Auditory feedback influences perceived driving speeds
Mark S Horswill, Annaliese M Plooy
Received 18 December 2006, in revised form 1 October 2007; published online 20 June 2008
Abstract. Reducing the level of internal noise is seen as a goal when designing modern cars. One danger of such a philosophy is that one is systematically attempting to alter one of the cues that can be used by drivers to estimate speed and this could bias speed judgments and driving behaviour. Seven participants were presented with pairs of video-based driving scenes and asked to judge whether the second scene appeared faster or slower than the first (2-alternative forced-choice task using the method of constant stimuli). They either heard in-car noise at the level it occurred in the real world or reduced in volume by 5 dB. The reduction in noise led to participants judging speeds to be significantly slower and this effect was evident for all participants. This finding indicates that, when in-car noise is attenuated, drivers are likely to underestimate their speed, potentially encouraging them to drive faster and placing them at greater risk of crashing.
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