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Research & Data

Human Factors

Human Factors Program Areas

What is Human Factors Engineering (a.k.a. human factors)?

The application of knowledge about human abilities, limitations, and other human characteristics to the design of equipment, tasks, and jobs.

What is the role of Human Factors in Vehicle Safety Research?

The role of human factors research is to provide an understanding of how drivers perform as a system component in the safe operation of vehicles. This role recognizes that driver performance is influenced by many environmental, psychological, and vehicle design factors.

The focus of the research is to determine which aspects of vehicle design should be modified to improve driver performance and reduce unsafe behaviors. An additional focus is to evaluate driver's capabilities to benefit from existing or new in-vehicle technologies. The research supports Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, safety defects investigations, consumer information, and advancement of knowledge about driver behaviors and performance that can be applied to development of vehicle technologies that are compatible with driver capabilities and limitations.

What is the Human Factors (HF) research process?

The chart below shows the three major steps in the research process. Bulleted points show major methods used to collect the necessary human factors data.

What is human factors