Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Donald L. Fisher
Elizabeth A. Henneman
Industrial Engineering | Mechanical Engineering
Driving while sleepy, drowsy or fatigued are leading contributors to road crashes. Sleepiness, drowsiness and fatigue usually occur at the end of a prolonged period of time during which an individual has been awake. Although these factors have been heavily researched, it is not clear how one of their primary causes, a prolonged total awake time (TAT), might affect driving skills such as hazard anticipation, hazard mitigation and attention maintenance, three skills that are crucial for safe driving.
The first experiment investigated how these three driving skills are affected by prolonged TAT, and if so to what extent. Forty-eight participants completed two separate driving simulator sessions, one a pre-test and one a post-test. Based on the online questionnaire, participants were assigned to two different groups, namely Short-hours and Long-hours. A total of two hours elapsed between the pre-test and post-test for the Short-hours group. A total of twelve hours elapsed between the pre-test and post-test for the Long-hours group. The pre-test session was administered at 9:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. for both Short-hours and Long-hours groups. The post-test session was administered at 11:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. for the Short-hours group and at 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. for the Long-hours group. It was expected that Long-hours group would perform on average more poorly in the post-test due to a longer total awake time. In each session, participants were asked to navigate a simulated world that included twelve scenarios: four examined drivers' hazard anticipation skills, four examined hazard mitigation skills and four examined attention maintenance skills. While driving, all participants' eye behaviors were measured. The results showed that the Long-hours group drivers' hazard anticipation, hazard mitigation and attention maintenance skills were compromised.
The above findings led to the development of a PC-Based Sleepiness and Fatigued Driving Evaluation and Training Program (SAFE-T) that was used to train drivers in each of the three driving skills mentioned above. The SAFE-T Program was configured to run on a standard PC so that the training could be undertaken without the need for advanced simulation by any drivers whose jobs required that they be awake and driving at the end of a long shift.
The second experiment investigated if the SAFE-T Program would effectively train drivers who were awake for a prolonged period of time to maintain their driving performance in each of the three driving skills, namely hazard anticipation, hazard mitigation, and attention maintenance. Based on the online questionnaire, participants were assigned to two different groups, namely Trained (SAFE-T) and Placebo. Thirty-six participants completed a pre-test, the SAFE-T or placebo training, and a post-test. All participants were in the Long-hours condition in this experiment, which is a total of twelve hours (the time that elapsed between the pre-test and the post-test). The pre-test was administered at 9:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m., the training was administered right after the pre-test, and the post-test was administered at 9:00 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. The results showed that participants who were given SAFE-T training performed better during the post-test than during the pre-test in all the three skills. In contrast, the participants who were given Placebo training performed worse during the post-test than during the pre-test in all the three skills.
Abdul Hamid, Abd Malek, "Effect of Total Awake Time on Drivers' Performance and Evaluation of Training Intervention to Mitigate Effects of Total Awake Time on Drivers' Performance" (2013). Open Access Dissertations. 737.