Effect of Road Markings and Traffic Signs Presence on Young Driver Stress Level, Eye Movement and Behaviour in Night-Time Conditions: A Driving Simulator Study
The study investigates how the presence of traffic signalling elements (road markings and traffic signs) affects the behaviour of young drivers in night-time conditions. Statistics show that young drivers (≤ 30 years old) are often involved in road accidents, especially those that occur in night-time conditions. Among other factors, this is due to lack of experience, overestimation of their ability or the desire to prove themselves. A driving simulator scenario was developed for the purpose of
... he research and 32 young drivers took two runs using it: a) one containing no road markings and traffic signs and b) one containing road markings and traffic signs. In addition to the driving simulator, eye tracking glasses were used to track eye movement and an electrocardiograph was used to monitor the heart rate and to determine the level of stress during the runs. The results show statistically significant differences (dependent samples t-test) between the two runs concerning driving speed, lateral position of the vehicle, and visual scanning of the environment. The results prove that road markings and traffic signs provide the drivers with timely and relevant information related to the upcoming situation, thus enabling them to adjust their driving accordingly. The results are valuable to road authorities and provide an explicit confirmation of the importance of traffic signalling for the behaviour of young drivers in night-time conditions, and thus for the overall traffic safety.