Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Ergon. 2010 Jul;41(4):569-76. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2009.12.002. Epub 2010 Jan 19.

Evaluation of a sudden brake warning system: effect on the response time of the following driver.

Author information

Traffic and Road Safety Research Group, Psychology Department, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.


This study used a video-based braking simulation dual task to carry out a preliminary evaluation of the effect of a sudden brake warning system (SBWS) in a leading passenger vehicle on the response time of the following driver. The primary task required the participants (N=25, 16 females, full NZ license holders) to respond to sudden braking manoeuvres of a lead vehicle during day and night driving, wet and dry conditions and in rural and urban traffic, while concurrently performing a secondary tracking task using a computer mouse. The SBWS in the lead vehicle consisted of g-force controlled activation of the rear hazard lights (the rear indicators flashed), in addition to the standard brake lights. Overall, the results revealed that responses to the braking manoeuvres of the leading vehicles when the hazard lights were activated by the warning system were 0.34 s (19%) faster compared to the standard brake lights. The SBWS was particularly effective when the simulated braking scenario of the leading vehicle did not require an immediate and abrupt braking response. Given this, the SBWS may also be beneficial for allowing smoother deceleration, thus reducing fuel consumption. These preliminary findings justify a larger, more ecologically valid laboratory evaluation which may lead to a naturalistic study in order to test this new technology in 'real world' braking situations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center