Driving performance impairments due to hypovigilance on monotonous roads

Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, 130 Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove 4059, Queensland, Australia.
Accident; analysis and prevention (Impact Factor: 1.65). 11/2011; 43(6):2037-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.05.023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Drivers' ability to react to unpredictable events deteriorates when exposed to highly predictable and uneventful driving tasks. Highway design reduces the driving task mainly to a lane-keeping manoeuvre. Such a task is monotonous, providing little stimulation and this contributes to crashes due to inattention. Research has shown that driver's hypovigilance can be assessed with EEG measurements and that driving performance is impaired during prolonged monotonous driving tasks. This paper aims to show that two dimensions of monotony - namely road design and road side variability - decrease vigilance and impair driving performance. This is the first study correlating hypovigilance and driver performance in varied monotonous conditions, particularly on a short time scale (a few seconds). We induced vigilance decrement as assessed with an EEG during a monotonous driving simulator experiment. Road monotony was varied through both road design and road side variability. The driver's decrease in vigilance occurred due to both road design and road scenery monotony and almost independently of the driver's sensation seeking level. Such impairment was also correlated to observable measurements from the driver, the car and the environment. During periods of hypovigilance, the driving performance impairment affected lane positioning, time to lane crossing, blink frequency, heart rate variability and non-specific electrodermal response rates. This work lays the foundation for the development of an in-vehicle device preventing hypovigilance crashes on monotonous roads.

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Available from: Gregoire S. Larue, Feb 05, 2015
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    • "Task monotony is considered as a factor encouraging drowsiness at the wheel, alongside, notably, age, whether medication is being taken and the temperature inside the vehicle (Dunn and Williamson, 2011; Larue et al., 2011; Sallinen et al., 2004). Several authors found that an exposure of 20 to 40 minutes is enough to induce drowsiness (Thiffault and Bergeron, 2003; Hefner et al., 2009). "
    6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, Las Vegas, Nevada; 07/2015
    • "These statistics likely underestimate the problem since there are currently no standardised procedures for testing for or reporting fatigue, and as such crashes that were caused by fatigue may often be attributed to other factors, such as inattention or distraction (Brown, 1994; Lee, 2008; Regan et al., 2009). Driver fatigue is associated with increased lane position variability, decreased response time to unexpected events, speed fluctuations, and increased crash rate (Larue et al., 2011; Liu and Wu, 2009). Fatigued drivers are more likely to miss signals of hazardous situations (Tippin et al., 2009). "
    01/2014; 3(2):107. DOI:10.1504/IJHFE.2014.067804
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    • "Although highways are associated with fewer accidents per kilometer than other roads, driver sleepiness has been estimated to cause 37% of fatal accidents on the highway network in France [7]. Moreover, it has been suggested that the monotonous nature of highway driving decreases the ability of drivers to react to unpredictable events [8]. Several factors contribute to sleepiness in highway drivers. "
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    Sleep Medicine 09/2013; 15(1). DOI:10.1016/j.sleep.2013.06.018 · 3.15 Impact Factor
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