Recall of vehicle collisions was investigated using a driving simulator. Participants were 30 young adults, 15 were asked to drive using a driving simulator, and 15 were assigned as passengers. Drivers and passengers were compared for recall accuracy, witness confidence and heart rate in each of three collisions: driver collided with another vehicle, driver collided with a pedestrian, driver and passenger watched two other cars colliding. The results indicated that recall was poor for all three collisions despite high self-reported confidence ratings. No significant differences were found between drivers and passengers. Recall of collisions in which the drivers and passengers were directly involved was significantly better than recall of collisions between other vehicles. Also, the heart rate of participants increased significantly during collisions in which they were directly involved but did not rise during collisions in which they were not, suggesting that arousal may improve recall for traffic events
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