Conference Proceeding

Driver Drowsiness Immediately before Crashes – A Comparative Investigation of EEG Pattern Recognition

  • M Golz (University of Applied Sciences, Schmalkalden, Germany)
  • D Sommer (University of Applied Sciences, Schmalkalden, Germany)
  • U Trutschel (Circadian Technologies, Inc., Stoneham, MA)
  • J Krajewski (University of Wuppertal, Germany)
  • B Sirois (Circadian Technologies, Inc., Stoneham, MA)


Periodogram and other spectral power estimation methods are established in quantitative EEG analysis. Their outcome in case of drowsy subjects fulfilling a sustained attention task is difficult to interpret. Two novel kind of EEG analysis based on pattern recognition were proposed recently, namely the microsleep (MS) and the alpha burst (AB) pattern recognition. We compare both methods by applying them to the same experimental data and relating their output variables to two independent variables of driver drowsiness. The latter was an objective lane tracking performance variable and the first was a subjective variable of self-experienced sleepiness. Results offer remarkable differences between both EEG analysis methodologies. The expected increase with time since sleep as well as with time on task, which also exhibited in both independent variables, was not identified after applying AB recognition. The EEG immediately before fatigue related crashes contained both patterns. MS patterns were remarkably more frequent before crashes; almost every crash (98.5 %) was preceded by MS patterns, whereas less than 64 % of all crashes had AB patterns within a 10 sec pre-crash interval.

How to Cite:

Golz, M. & Sommer, D. & Trutschel, U. & Krajewski, J. & Sirois, B., (2013) “Driver Drowsiness Immediately before Crashes – A Comparative Investigation of EEG Pattern Recognition”, Driving Assessment Conference 7(2013), 516-522. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2013 the author(s)

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Published on
20 Jun 2013
Peer Reviewed