Title: Day versus night driving in real traffic and on a driving simulator during an 800km all-highway drive

Authors: Elke De Valck, Stijn Quanten, Raymond Cluydts, Daniel Berckmans

Addresses: Department of Cognitive and Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. ' Division Measure, Model and Manage Bio-responses (M3-BIORES), Catholic University of Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 30, B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium. ' Department of Cognitive and Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. ' Division Measure, Model and Manage Bio-responses (M3-BIORES), Catholic University of Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 30, B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium

Abstract: Driving performance was examined during daytime as opposed to night time during a prolonged drive in real traffic and on a simulator. Eight men and one woman, 25-65 years, participated. Subjects drove an 800km all-highway drive twice – during daytime and night time – with a 24hr-interval. A driving simulator test was scheduled at the start, halfway, and upon arrival. During real driving, the standard deviation in the steering position was significantly higher from noon till 16:00, and from midnight till 3:00/4:00. Average driving speed was higher during the night, except from 1:00/2:00 till 3:00/4:00. Performance on the simulator did not correspond to this pattern. Concluding, circadian factors had a major impact on driving performance in real traffic. Furthermore, the relative validity of the simulator used, could not be established. This seemed to be related to poor motivation during the simulator tests.

Keywords: circadian factors; driver fatigue; long-distance driving; real driving; driving simulator; driver sleepiness; driver drowsiness; driver saftey; traffic; validation; night driving; day driving; simulation; driving performance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2006.010181

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2006 Vol.42 No.1/2, pp.119 - 133

Published online: 08 Jul 2006 *

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