The Traffic Accident Reconstruction Origin -Article-

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An Internet Experiment- Insights into Human Performance Data

By George Bonnett


Accident reconstructionists routinely have need for numbers. The length of a skid mark, the radius of a scuff, or the grade of a roadway. These values usually are directly measurable with some type of measuring instrument. But how do we measure human performance? For example: What is a driver's Perception Reaction Time (PRT)? We rely on published information for these values. The literature offers driver PRTs that can range from less than 1 to more than 7 seconds. Where do these values for PRT originate? Which one of these is correct? Are any of them correct?

PRTs originate from experiments. The reader is invited to participate in an Internet experiment that will examine this process and attempt to understand what PRT means and what a correct PRT might be.

The Experiment

By following the link at the bottom of this page you will be able to download a small MS DOS program. This program will allow you to sit at your computer and take a simple Perception Reaction Time test. The test will take less than ten minutes to complete. As you take the test, your results will be written to a file on your disk. Once you have completed the test you are invited to mail your results back to TARO via email. The results of your test and many others will be compiled, analyzed and presented in a future TARO article. In return for submitting your file you will receive a second program that will decode your results. After de-coding your results you will be able to compare your performance with the results of others that have participated in this experiment.

Statement of Purpose

It is important to understand that this PRT experiment is not represented to correlate directly with driver reaction times. It is a PRT experiment that will generate data for the analysis of a PRT task.

It is the explicit intent of this experiment to demonstrate the process of human performance experiments. Specifically,

1) Illustrate the developmental process of an experiment.

2) Gather a large sample of data.

3) Illustrate how the data is analyzed.

4) Gain insight into how the results of this experiment relate to other Human Performance PRT tasks.

Click here for instructions on downloading the PRT test

George M. Bonnett is an attorney, an expert in the field of accident reconstruction, and the author and designer of the REC-TEC Professional accident reconstruction program. He is a Vietnam veteran, serving as a Captain and Marine Corps Aviator with 135 combat missions. He is also a retired veteran of the New Orleans Police Department.

He has taught courses on the REC-TEC program for Louisiana State Police, Kansas Highway Patrol, Missouri Highway Patrol, South Carolina Highway Patrol, the Highway Traffic Safety Program at Michigan State University, and the Traffic Institute for Police Services in Pennsylvania. He is an instructor with TEEX at Texas A&M, and has been a presenter at I.P.T.M., I.A.A.R.S., and T.A.A.R.S.

Mr. Bonnett currently resides in Florida with his wife Dominique where he continues to actively develop and improve the REC-TEC computer program as well as teaching both public and private courses on REC-TEC and consulting on cases involving accident reconstruction.

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