Perception & Reaction

In the driving environment, almost all of our ability to perceive objects comes through our visual passageway.  It is important to note that even though an object or stimulus is available to be viewed, it may not be detected.  If an object is detected, it may not be detected in a timely fashion or an object may be incorrectly interpreted.   After detection, any reaction is based on processing the previous flow of information.  Lighting conditions, weather, roadway configurations and individuals are some of the things that must be evaluated on a case by case basis.   The straightforward example illustrated below provides the motorist with sufficient information for a safe and timely movement.   If the stimulus is more difficult to detect, understand and the number of possible reaction choices increases (example: turn right, left, brake, etc.), the length of time to complete the perception/reaction process will be lengthened.

Seeing, Processing & Reaction

  • Strong Stimulus is Detected

  • Clear Message

  • One Decision

  • Action -  Merge Right