Empirical measurement of the Enright phenomenon, a distortion of perceived driving speed

Carkeet, Andrew D., McCorriston, Jonathon, Robinson, Andrew, Pesic, Nina, Wright, Sarah, & Wood, Joanne M. (2009) Empirical measurement of the Enright phenomenon, a distortion of perceived driving speed. In Proceedings of the 12 Biennial Scientific and Educators' Meeting in Optometry, Optometrists Association Australia, University of Auckland, Auckland.

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Purpose: In 1970, Enright observed a distortion of perceived driving speed, induced by monocular application of a neutral density (ND) filter. If a driver looks out of the right side of a vehicle with a filter over the right eye, the driver perceives a reduction of the vehicle’s apparent velocity, while applying a ND filter over the left eye increases the vehicle’s apparent velocity. The purpose of the current study was to provide the first empirical measurements of the Enright phenomenon. Methods: Ten experienced drivers were tested and drove an automatic sedan on a closed road circuit. Filters (0.9 ND) were placed over the left, right or both eyes during a driving run, in addition to a control condition with no filters in place. Subjects were asked to look out of the right side of the car and adjust their driving speed to either 40 km/h or 60 km/h. Results: Without a filter or with both eyes filtered subjects showed good estimation of speed when asked to travel at 60 km/h but travelled a mean of 12 to 14 km/h faster than the requested 40 km/h. Subjects travelled faster than these baselines by a mean of 7 to 9 km/h (p < 0.001) with the filter over their right eye, and 3 to 5 km/h slower with the filter over their left eye (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The Enright phenomenon causes significant and measurable distortions of perceived driving speed under realworld driving conditions.

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ID Code: 31473
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The abstract of this paper was published in "Clinical and Experimental Optometry", Vol. 92, no. 1, pp.51-69. [please see DOI].
DOI: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2008.00341.x
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Deposited On: 24 Mar 2010 21:58
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2010 17:15

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