Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Date of Award


Access Type

Campus Access

Document type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

First Advisor

Donald L. Fisher

Second Advisor

Alexander Pollatsek

Third Advisor

Jenna Marquard

Subject Categories

Industrial Engineering | Operational Research


The overall goal of this research was to isolate the differences between inexperienced and experienced drivers in complex scenarios, to design a training program to reduce these differences in both simple and complex scenarios, and then to evaluate the effectiveness of the training program in both simple and complex scenarios. The results of Experiment 1 support the hypothesis that drivers with more driving experience will anticipate more possible hazards and will better mitigate hazards by driving slower in the segments of the road where hazards can materialize. Two training protocols, Multi-Skill (MulS) training and Placebo training, were used to train two groups of inexperienced drivers. Multi-Skill training program (MulS) consisted of three PC-based modules, each dedicated to one of the skills, and a driving simulator-based practice drive where users could practice their skills in simple and complex driving scenarios. Both the PC-based and simulator-based training modules were designed using methods that had proven successful in the design of previous training programs for hazard anticipation, hazard mitigation and attention maintenance performance in simple scenarios. The results of Experiment 2 support this hypothesis for two of the three skills, hazard anticipation and hazard mitigation. With respect to hazard anticipation, on average, MulS training increased hazard anticipation performance by 35 percentage points. With respect to hazard mitigation, MulS training decreased the average velocity of drivers' vehicles in the presence of hazards by 1.9 mph, whereas Placebo training increased the average velocity of drivers' vehicles in the presence of hazards by 4.1 mph. Overall, Multi-Skill training program proved to be a successful in improving user's performance in complex driving scenarios on two of the three critical driving skill skills, hazard anticipation and hazard mitigation.