Driving experience and the functional field of view

Perception. 1999;28(9):1075-87. doi: 10.1068/p281075.


Research has suggested that novice drivers have different search strategies compared with their more experienced counterparts, and that this may contribute to their increased accident liability. One issue of concern is whether experienced drivers have a wider field of peripheral vision than less experienced drivers. This study attempted to distinguish between people of varying driving experience on the basis of their functional fields of view. Participants searched video clips taken from a moving driver's perspective for potential hazards while responding to peripheral target lights. Hit rates for peripheral targets decreased for all participant groups as processing demands increased (i.e. when hazards occurred) and as the eccentricity of the target increased, though there was no interaction. An effect of experience was also found which suggests that this paradigm measures a perceptual skill or strategy that develops with driving experience.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic*
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Computer Graphics
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychological Tests
  • Visual Field Tests
  • Visual Fields*