Conference Proceeding

Road Environment and Driver Fatigue

  • Tal Oron-Gilad (University of Central Florida, Orlando)
  • Richard A Hancock (University of Central Florida, Orlando)


We distinguish between fatigue caused by the demands of the drivingtask itself (see Hancock & Desmond, 2001) from the standard traditionalapproach that links fatigue predominately to the lack of sleep. Fatigue can becaused by two sources: (1) the driver’s initial state before starting the drive, or (2)the characteristics of the drive and the road environment; both sources can have acumulative effect. It is not clear what principles are involved in making one roadenvironment more prone to inducing driver fatigue than another. For the purposeof the current presentation we provide empirical data on road environment anddriver fatigue summarized from a series of three experiments that the first authorhas conducted at Ben-Gurion University (see Oron-Gilad, 2003; Oron-Gilad, etal., 2001). Those are examined in relation to the Hancock and Warm (1989)model of adaptability. The most significant and consistent findings of the threeexperiment is in the way that fatigue is reflected in driving performance acrossdifferent road environments. These findings suggest that drivers are flexible in theway they handle fatigue over the course of time. They can adopt differentstrategies to compensate for their performance decrement, by focusing efforts oncritical elements of each different type of roadway. Understanding of thisdependency of fatigue symptoms on road conditions is of especial relevance todesigners of technological fatigue countermeasures as well as those of futureroadway systems.

How to Cite:

Oron-Gilad, T. & Hancock, R., (2005) “Road Environment and Driver Fatigue”, Driving Assessment Conference 3(2005), 318-324. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2005 the author(s)

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Published on
29 Jun 2005
Peer Reviewed