Driving is a dynamic task and the conditions of the roadway are ever changing.
The driving task are the variables on the roadway that are constantly changing that make hazard perception so imperative when you drive. This is especially difficult for new drivers because these six factors can come together at anytime in a different set of combinations that will change one driving situation that we completely harmless in one given day, and on another given day completely dangerous.
The driving task:
1) the vehicle,
2) the driver,
3) the road,
5) light, and
These six factors change on a constant basis. Drivers, for example, can be young, new drivers with very few skills and very little hazard perception abilities; 20-45 years-old; people who have physical disabilities; people with only one eye have no depth-perception and need to employ other techniques to compensate for that reduction in eye sight. Other people, seniors, for example, will have reduced physical abilities - lots of driving experience, but you probably have all had the experience of driving behind senior drivers, older drivers who are driving slowly. So the driver is one of the factors, and the driver can be in any sort of given emotional state on a day.
The next variable for the driving task is the vehicle. Vehicles can be in any sort of mechanical fitness on any given day. Tires are bald, the brakes have not been done for some time, brake lights are out lights, lights are not working. So like the driver, vehicles on a roadway can be in any sort of mechanical fitness shape as well. So that's another factor that you as a driver are dealing with.
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Roadways, you can drive our of your driveway in the morning be on a two-lane, residential, quiet 40 kilometres an hour street - very quickly move on to a main artery through your residential area. 2-lane, much quicker 50 kilometers an hour, out onto a four-lane that 60 or 70 kilometres an hour and then be onto a freeway driving a hundred. So the roadways change all the time, and the configurations change all the time. And really the only guidance that we have for being on roadways is lights, signs, and road markings. And it's imperative that we pay attention to those.
Traffic, we have seven different kinds of vehicles on a roadway that comprise to make traffic:
3) cars, passenger vehicles,
4) in some cities we have streetcars and trolleys,
6) pedestrians, and the new addition to traffic on our roadways is
7) seniors on scooters.
These are being seen more and more in traffic. So be on the lookout for seniors driving on roadways on their little electric scooters.
Light, is another factor. Light can change from night time when you can't see, glaring sun, middle of the day, cloudy, overcast - all of these factors change how our light varies from any given time of the day. So if you're driving long periods of time, the light is going to change dramatically. And just as one example, at night time human beings lose about half of their ability to see. There are lots of road infrastructure pieces in place that compensate for our less ability to see at night. For example, reflective signs, reflectors on the roadway to mark them out, and those sorts of things. But still, it's greatly reduced. Finally, the last factor is weather.
Weather can change any given day, especially for those driving in the mountains, and in other remote locations. You can go from rain, to freezing rain, to slush, to snow, bright blue skies. All of these things are changing. So the six factors, in conclusion, are 1) the driver, 2) the vehicle, 3) traffic, 4) the roadway, 5) light and 6) weather. These six factors can change at any given time and in one situation will be completely harmless, and in another given situation they will come together and you can be in a very dangerous position.