The broad concept of cognitive abilities covers all higher performances of the brain, from information processing speed to spatial perception and logical reasoning. They are therefore essential for perceiving, understanding and evaluating road traffic situations and reacting to them correctly and in a timely manner.
Why cognitive skills are important for road safety?
Safe behavior in road traffic is demanding and requires the timely retrieval of different cognitive abilities.
For example, the driver must be able to estimate the movement of objects both in spatial and temporal terms in order to adapt distances, directions and speeds accordingly. This enables an appropriate classification in flowing traffic or correct estimation of the braking distance. This ability is measured in the Vienna Test System Traffic via the dimension motion anticipation.
The functional efficiency of memory also falls under cognitive abilities. The memory can be impaired due to alcohol and drug abuse or neurological abnormalities. In road traffic, for example, an intact working memory is necessary to be able to implement speed limits.
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