There are more than 175 million licensed drivers in the United States. Combined with the many pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and other road users, this creates an interesting mix of elements with very different characteristics. Moving these elements efficiently and safely to their destinations presents a major challenge, ....
Review By: John A. Kornak, Wisconsin Lawyer - May 12, 2003
The hallmark of a great general reference book for the busy practitioner is ease of use combined with practical application and sufficient technical information to assist in finding and cross-examining experts. For attorneys who practice in an area of the law that uses human factors experts, this book is an invaluable addition to the library. The field of human factors is described as "a scientific discipline concerned with the interaction of people and devices of various kinds." In this book, the focus is limited to the interaction of people and motor vehicles. The editors bring together all of the major human factors topics of concern to driving and traffic safety to show how the science of human factors contributes to traffic safety and how it is helpful to investigating motor vehicle collisions.
[This book] has four distinct parts. Each part applies the science of human factors to traffic safety from a different perspective: the driver, the vehicle, the roadway environment, and accident causation and remediation. Each chapter within the four parts is written by experts in their respective fields. All of the chapters were reviewed by the editors, and most were also reviewed by outside experts. The book also suggests source material for further study. Such disparate topics as driver perception-response time, alcohol and drugs, roadway design, and visibility under roadway lighting are addressed. Despite the occasional instance of hypertechnicality, this book is a tremendous aid for busy practitioners. It provides enough information on disparate topics while maintaining a comfortable approachability to a filed of science that often is difficult to understand. As a primary source for information on human factors and its interaction with traffic safety, I highly recommend this book.
Review By: Robert E. Dewar, - May 13, 2003
It's important to understand the limitations of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, and to incorporate this into the design of vehicles, roads, traffic control devices and so on. People are generally unaware of their own limitations and the problems faced by those using the highway system. Most people think that driving a motor vehicle is pretty easy, but it is not as evidenced by the many driver errors and traffic collisions that we see. It is a complex task.
This book breaks new ground by incorporating some nontraditional disciplines such as neuropsychology, fatigue studies and eyewitness testimony. Much of this material is not well-known by people outside of psychology, and, even inside the field, many are not familiar with it. To our knowledge, no other book has presented such a wide variety of relevant topics applied to traffic safety.
Review By: Paul L. Olson, - May 13, 2003
Humans are the control element in every type of transportation system. In this capacity humans are remarkably capable and adaptable, yet they do have limits. In the design of any mechanical system, engineers must take into account the characteristics of materials so that the end product will perform as expected. Similarly, if humans play a significant role in the performance of that system it is vital that design take into account their capabilities and limitations as well.
There is a significant gap in communication between researchers and persons having a direct involvement in litigation. People such as reconstructionists and attorneys often have a very real need for information such as the authors of this book have produced, but it is typically buried in technical reports and journals to which they do not have ready access. This book is an attempt to bridge that gap.