Attention describes the ability to concentrate on an activity and to suppress irrelevant signals. It thus forms an essential basis for both simple and more complex tasks and actions, including driving vehicles and participating in traffic. Accident analyses have shown that the majority of registered traffic accidents are due to attention errors. Therefore, this ability is attributed a special value in traffic psychology.

Why is attention an important criteria for road safety?

Imagine a typical longer, monotonous car ride. Again and again relevant stimuli appear but are mixed in between many irrelevant stimuli. There are both visual stimuli (traffic signs, traffic lights, crosswalks but also supermarkets or passers-by at the roadside) and auditory stimuli (horns, calls or a toddler in the rear).

In traffic psychology, vigilance is used to determine whether sufficient attention is available in such situations. Vigilance describes the ability to continuously direct attention to one or more sources of information over long periods of time. The aim is to detect small changes in the information presented and to react accordingly.

In addition to vigilance, attention in traffic psychology is also recorded via the dimension concentration. In the Vienna Test System TRAFFIC, concentration is understood to be a special attention function, namely selective attention. Selective attention, i.e. concentration, is needed, for example, when driving into an unregulated intersection. In this case, concentration is shifted from one stimulus to another.

Find the right attention test

Discover the various tests in the Vienna Test System from SCHUHFRIED on the attention dimensions.

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