Ipsilateral and contralateral warnings: effects on decision-making and eye movements in near-collision scenarios

Joost de Winter*, Jimmy Hu, Bastiaan Petermeijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Cars are increasingly capable of providing drivers with warnings and advice. However, whether drivers should be provided with ipsilateral warnings (signaling the direction to steer towards) or contralateral warnings (signaling the direction to avoid) is inconclusive. Furthermore, how auditory warnings and visual information from the driving environment together contribute to drivers’ responses is relatively unexplored. In this study, 34 participants were presented with animated video clips of traffic situations on a three-lane road, while their eye movements were recorded with an eye-tracker. The videos ended with a near collision in front after 1, 3, or 6 s, while either the left or the right lane was safe to swerve into. Participants were instructed to make safe lane-change decisions by pressing the left or right arrow key. Upon the start of each video, participants heard a warning: Go Left/Right (ipsilateral), Danger Left/Right (contralateral), and nondirectional beeps (Baseline), emitted from the spatially corresponding left and right speakers. The results showed no significant differences in response times and accuracy between ipsilateral and contralateral warnings, although participants rated ipsilateral warnings as more satisfactory. Ipsilateral and contralateral warnings both improved response times in situations in which the left/right hazard was not yet manifest or was poorly visible. Participants fixated on salient and relevant vehicles as quickly as 220 ms after the trial started, with no significant differences between the audio types. In conclusion, directional warnings can aid in making a correct left/right evasive decision while not affecting the visual attention distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-317
JournalJournal on Multimodal User Interfaces
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Collision warning
  • Eye-tracking
  • Resolution advisory
  • Spatial warning
  • Speech


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