Student researcher

Shauntelle Benjamin Research Leader

Drivers continue to enter flooded road crossings in Australia, often with tragic outcomes.  Given the expected increase in flooding predicted with climate change, designing better risk mitigation and community safety strategies requires understanding of the psychology behind a drivers’ decision to enter floodwater.

This PhD project (which will commence in January 2017) will use UNE’s state of the art virtual reality and eye tracking laboratories to experimentally test the psychological factors that might influence the decision to drive into floodwater.  The project will also examine the protective effects of risk treatments such as warning signs, penalties and safety education.  Key research questions include:


1.    What are the motivations (i.e. variables that affect behaviour) for decisions to drive into floodwater?
2.    What protective factors are associated with decisions not to drive into floodwater?
3.    Does a driver’s perception of risk influence decisions to drive into floodwater?
4.    Can interventions be tailored to different motivations, protective factors and risk perceptions?