Measuring drivers' visual attention in work zones Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • 2015 Assessing driver sensory and cognitive processes, and the effect of temporary traffic control devices upon those processes in work zones, can be somewhat difficult. Measuring vehicle speed, lane position, acceleration, braking, turning, etc. through in-vehicle instrumentation is easily accomplished, but understanding driver visual attention is much more challenging. For example, during construction projects, drivers often have difficulty identifying appropriate gaps for turning in order to access businesses, particularly at night. In addition, driveways are often delineated with channelizing drums that appear the same as all the other drums in the work zone. Researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute performed a study of driver eye-tracking in work zones to determine if drivers could more easily locate specific business driveways if alternative driveway delineation treatments were used. The evaluation was performed using paid participants driving instrumented vehicles equipped with dash-mounted eye-tracking equipment. Primary measures of effectiveness (MOE) were: participants glance distributions at various viewing regions during driveway approaches and average glance durations at driveway treatments. Overall, the data showed that drivers visual attention was different when the alternative delineation treatments were used, evidenced by a statistically significant increase in the number of treatment glances at the alternative treatments. There was little difference in the durations of the treatment glances during the daytime, probably due to the prevalence of other visual cues that are readily visible in the daytime. But glance durations at the alternative treatments were longer at night, indicative of the success of the treatment in attracting attention to the actual driveway location. Overall, while differences in the MOE were less pronounced during the day, the alternative channelizing treatments generally performed better than the standard drum treatment at night.

published proceedings

  • 6TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON APPLIED HUMAN FACTORS AND ERGONOMICS (AHFE 2015) AND THE AFFILIATED CONFERENCES, AHFE 2015

author list (cited authors)

  • Theiss, L., Gillette, G., & Ullman, G. L.

complete list of authors

  • Theiss, Luann||Gillette, George FII||Ullman, Gerald L

publication date

  • January 1, 2015 11:11 AM