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Safety 2018, 4(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety4030028

Examining Ironic Processes in Tourist Drivers: Driving on the Unfamiliar Side of the Road

1
Ageing Research Institute for Society and Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637335, Singapore
2
Transport Research Group, School of Psychology, University of Waikato, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
3
Te Huataki Waiora Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance, University of Waikato, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
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Abstract

Driving on the unfamiliar side of the road contributes to tourist road accidents and may deter self-driving tourists from travelling to certain countries. Experienced drivers usually drive on “autopilot” but under unfamiliar circumstances, drivers might generate instructions to avoid certain behaviour. Previous research has revealed that avoidant instructions can sometimes cause behaviour in the unintended direction (i.e., “ironic” behaviour). This study examined the effect of avoidant instructions (i.e., do not drift towards the centreline) while driving on the unfamiliar side of the road under high cognitive load. Participants (8 males, 9 females) drove on simulated roads under neutral and avoidant instructions, with or without a secondary task, in control and roadworks scenarios. Avoidant instructions did not lead to ironic behaviour (doing what one has been instructed not to do) but were associated with overcompensatory behaviour—driving further from the centreline compared to neutral instructions. Overcompensatory effects were not present when driving with a secondary task or in a roadworks scenario. The findings suggest that avoidant instructions do not lead to dangerous ironic behaviours. Further work needs to be undertaken on driving instructions given to tourists in other contexts like physiological fatigue. View Full-Text
Keywords: right-side driving; roadworks; ironic process; implicit overcompensation; avoidant instructions right-side driving; roadworks; ironic process; implicit overcompensation; avoidant instructions
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Malhotra, N.; Charlton, S.; Starkey, N.; Masters, R. Examining Ironic Processes in Tourist Drivers: Driving on the Unfamiliar Side of the Road. Safety 2018, 4, 28.

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