Monthly Archives: February 2014

The effect of texting on Mario Kart performance

A light-hearted article addresses some real world human factors issues concerning the hypothesis that distracted driving from performing other tasks in the car is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents. Does distracted driving from texting similarly affect Mario Kart performance? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study concluded that the risk of a crash, driving off the track, and driving backwards among Mario Kart drivers significantly increased with texting, resulting in significantly slower times. All participants were surprised at the effect of texting on their Mario Kart driving performance. See more on this story.

Why do people ignore some red lights and not others?

At a function recently I was sitting next to someone from the railway industry. On hearing that I was an ergonomist she asked me how I would solve the problem of motorists ignoring the flashing red stop light signal at level crossings. My immediate thought was “why do we have a different type of stop signal at level crossings as compared with other stop signals?” Would it be better to have the same kind of stop light there as at other places? Apart from those drivers who continue to cross just as they change to red do many still do so shortly after when a collision is more likely? Has any research been done on this?

Reg Sell