Human Factors & Risk Homeostasis Involved in the Design of an Automobile

Essay by big_robwUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2005

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This assignment was meant to cover Human Factors and how risk homeostasis is involved. The product that we have chosen to investigate is the everyday common car. Cars are used in everyday life by almost everyone. The car is a good subject to look at because it is so common and people may take many parts of it for granted. Risk homeostasis looks at the amount of risk a person is willing to take despite the cautions, warning labels, etc. Cars generally come with a large book full of these generally called the owner's manual. Most people in general tend to ignore the manual and most times do not even open the book in general. In the following paper typical cars processes, parts, or systems will be investigated to see how human factors and risk homeostasis has been affected.

Antilock Brake Systems

Antilock brake systems have become the norm on all vehicles today.

When your wheels lock up on wet or slippery roads or during a panic stop, you may lose traction and control, causing the vehicle to spin. Antilock brakes keep your wheels from locking up, so the car maintains directional control around hazards if it can't make a complete stop in time. Antilock brake systems (ABS) work with the car's regular braking system by automatically pumping them. In vehicles not equipped with ABS, the driver has to manually pump the brakes to prevent wheel lockup. In vehicles equipped with ABS, while the foot of the driver remains firmly planted on the brake pedal, ABS will pump the brakes so that the driver can concentrate on steering to safety. This process is controlled by computers and happens at a very rapid pace.

Activating ABS

When faced with a panic braking situation, ABS allows a driver to rapidly...