Conference Proceeding

Tracking Driver Eye Movements at Permissive Left-Turns

  • Michael A Knodler Jr (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
  • William A Noyce (University of Wisconsin, Madison)


The objective of this analysis was to identify sources of informationused by left-turning drivers. To complete the experiment, a virtual network ofsignalized intersections was created for use in a driving simulator equipped withhead and eye tracking equipment. Fourteen drivers were recruited to participate inthe experiment, which included two independent variables (permissive signalindication and presence of opposing traffic). The primary dependent variable wasthe associated eye movements at permissive left-turns, including the magnitude oftime focused on each potential cue and the pattern in which cues were detected.To complete the analysis, eye movements were tracked and the screen wasdivided into “areas of interest,” which coincided with potential cues used in thecompletion of a permissive left turn. For each permissive scenario, drivers usedmore total cues when no opposing traffic was present. Specifically, in theabsence of opposing traffic, drivers fixated on a wider array of availableinformation. When opposing traffic was present, drivers spent a majority of timefocused on opposing traffic and would use this as a base point from which theywould glance at other data sources. Overall, drivers looked at least once at theprotected/permissive left-turn (PPLT) signal display and the opposing trafficstream. Drivers tended to scan the intersection from right to left, after initiallylocating the PPLT signal display and opposing traffic and/or stop bar area. Theresults of the eye movement analysis are consistent with data obtained in afollow-up static evaluation.

How to Cite:

Knodler, M., Jr & Noyce, W., (2005) “Tracking Driver Eye Movements at Permissive Left-Turns”, Driving Assessment Conference 3(2005), 134-142. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2005 the author(s)

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Published on
28 Jun 2005
Peer Reviewed