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Recognising Risk Reduces Perception To Reaction Time.

17th December 2013
It can sometimes be stated in accident claim cases that there simply wasn’t enough time within which to react to prevent an accident from taking place. While there are numerous accidents that take place, which may be described as ‘unforeseeable’, nevertheless, research has shown that there are specific intervals of time, which, while measurable in tenths of a second, can affect reaction time sufficiently to avoid or minimise accident or injury.

In certain circumstances, accident compensation claims may involve determining the level of perception, anticipation and the type of action(s) carried out which had an influence over either causing or not preventing an accident or injury from taking place.

A common example can include drivers who fail to pay close enough attention to watching the road, being aware of and anticipating other road user actions and taking the right precautions in good time. In the workplace, lack of awareness caused by inadequate or non-risk assessment with a failure to promptly act or ensure actions have been correctly and consistently carried out, are also frequently reported.

According to research there is an average standard of 0.7 seconds ‘reaction time’ between awareness and taking action plus a possible further 0.8 seconds to determine risk level. The 0.7 second reaction time only applies if the person knows what to do to avert the danger. Learned and reflex actions can take place in less than 0.7 seconds as specific decision-making processes are bypassed as ‘knowing what to do’ in any given circumstance can also influence speed of reaction.

In many situations, perception, or the time it takes to recognise a dangerous situation can prevent the time required to carry out of an action, which would prevent or minimise an accident.

When applied to the behaviour on the road, motorists rely on learned procedures and experience, which can often lead to concentration wandering and less attention paid to watching the road, checking mirrors, reading the traffic, etc. Failure to keep alert is often the result of boredom and can interfere with reaction times. Too often, drivers fall asleep at the wheel.

Whether on the road or at work, the more quickly a potential danger is recognised, which can reduce the perception time, the greater the chance of avoiding accidents by having enough time to act.