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Journal Article


Cocron P, Bachl V, Früh L, Koch I, Krems JF. Accid. Anal. Prev. 2014; 73C: 380-391.


Department of Psychology, Technische Universität Chemnitz, Chemnitz, Germany.


(Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Publishing)






The low noise emission of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) has led to discussions about how to address potential safety issues for other road users. Legislative actions have already been undertaken to implement artificial sounds. In previous research, BEV drivers reported that due to low noise emission they paid particular attention to pedestrians and bicyclists. For the current research, we developed a hazard detection task to test whether drivers with BEV experience respond faster to incidents, which arise due to the low noise emission, than inexperienced drivers. The first study (N=65) revealed that BEV experience only played a minor role in drivers' response to hazards resulting from low BEV noise. The tendency to respond, reaction times and hazard evaluations were similar among experienced and inexperienced BEV drivers; only small trends in the assumed direction were observed. Still, both groups clearly differentiated between critical and non-critical scenarios and responded accordingly. In the second study (N=58), we investigated additionally if sensitization to low noise emission of BEVs had an effect on hazard perception in incidents where the noise difference is crucial. Again, participants in all groups differentiated between critical and non-critical scenarios. Even though trends in response rates and latencies occurred, experience and sensitization to low noise seemed to only play a minor role in detecting hazards due to low BEV noise. An additional global evaluation of BEV noise further suggests that even after a short test drive, the lack of noise is perceived more as a comfort feature than a safety threat.

Language: en


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