Perception of Risk in Automotive Systems
Human Factors, 1989, Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 377-389, 1989
13 Pages Posted: 13 May 2011
Date Written: 1989
Thirty subsystems constituting a functioning motor vehicle, including brake, steering, suspension, engine, electrical, and fuel systems, were evaluated by individuals on a set of risk characteristic scales. These included overall vehicle riskiness, likelihood of severe consequences in the event of system failure, controllability of the vehicle, and observability of impending failure. An analysis of the resulting judgments revealed two composite factors, one representing the controllability of consequences and the other representing observability. Both factors were highly related to judgments of risk, desire for risk regulation, and anticipated recall compliance. A comparison of risk judgments with accident data suggested that for some vehicle systems, particularly those serving a communication function in the driving task, drivers may underestimate the actual risk they face when system performance has degraded.
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