Self explaining roads and situation awareness

Guy Walker, Neville Stanton, Ipshita Chowdhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
396 Downloads (Pure)


This paper places theories of SA into contact with the issue of Self Explaining Roads. Twelve drivers took part in an on-road study and performed a verbal commentary as they drove around a defined test route. The verbal transcripts were partitioned into six road types, and driver SA was modeled using semantic
networks. The content and structure of these networks was analysed and cognitively salient endemic road features were extracted. These were then compared with aspects of driver behaviour. The findings highlight the systemic nature of the driver–vehicle–road interaction, and show that SA is highly contingent on road type. The findings also reveal that motorways/freeways are the most cognitively compatible road type and that incompatibilities grow rapidly as road types become increasingly minor and less overtly ‘designed’. The paper is exploratory in nature but succeeds in innovating a theoretically robust
means of examining road environments under naturalistic conditions. It also succeeds in providing numerous insights and hypotheses for a developing program of work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages10
JournalSafety Science
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


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