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Driving Risk Assessment Under the Effect of Alcohol Through an Eye Tracking System in Virtual Reality

  • Maria Rosaria De BlasiisEmail author
  • Chiara Ferrante
  • Valerio Veraldi
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 969)

Abstract

The issue of driving under the effect of alcohol is a matter of several studies in the field of road safety because today alcohol is widely diffused especially among very young people (age ranging between 18 and 25). Each year data provided by authorities are worrying, more than a third of the accidents registered in European countries are caused by alcohol. Italy is aligned with this trend; the ISS – National Institute of Health estimates that alcohol-related road accidents are equal to 30–35% of the total road accidents. Medical researches confirm that alcohol generates negative effects on driving, impairs the ability of perception, attention, processing and evaluation and it has negative effects on cognitive and motor skills. Therefore, the present research is developed in the field of a wider project research with the purpose to investigate and estimate the impact of alcohol on road safety to support awareness campaigns “Drink or Drive”. As demonstrated by findings of the previous study, alcohol has a significant impact on driving performances in terms of geometric, kinematic and dynamic measures. Trajectory, stopping and overtaking maneuvers were studied and a significant delay in reflexes, especially in stopping and overtaking maneuvers, that exposes drivers to high risk level, was calculated. In this research, the focus is on the drivers’ eye-movements that are recorded in the virtual reality driving experiment. To understand how much alcohol impairs attention and concentration in relation to the driving performances, these data are processed and two eye blinking measures (i.e. % blinking and blink rate) are analyzed A sample of 20 drivers were requested to drive the virtual reality-driving simulator situated in the LASS3 Virtual Reality Laboratory of University Research Centre for Road Safety. The route runs in extra-urban and urban areas, in order to study drivers’ behavior in different cases and subjecting drivers to different stimuli (i.e. pedestrian crossing, overtaking maneuver, sudden braking, etc.). The results are a comparison between the results of two conditions drunken and sober. Results show that alcohol affects attention and concentration increasing the absolute value of blinking and its rate. During the stopping and the overtaking maneuvers where driving measures show higher risk levels in drunkenness condition respect the to the sober one, eye measures show a reduction in blinking and frequency (in both conditions) on behalf of a more attention to the road.

Keywords

Driver behaviour Alcohol effect Driving simulator Human Factor 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Rosaria De Blasiis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chiara Ferrante
    • 1
  • Valerio Veraldi
    • 2
  1. 1.Engineering DepartmentRoma Tre UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.RISE - Research and Innovation for Sustainable Environment, Ltd.RomeItaly

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