Methods of Physical and Mental Testing of Vehicle Drivers and Its Role in Road Traffic Safety Improvement

Mirosław Antonowicz, Marek Zielinski

Abstract


Safety in the road traffic is largely dependent on the physical and mental condition of the driver. Current research as well as the analyses conducted on certain phenomena-psycho-physiological efficiency of drivers, their skills, the influence of extrinsic factors on drivers, the technical parameters of vehicles and finally the distracting power of the environment - all prove that it is achievable to minimize risk in the road traffic.
There are various testing techniques, some of them are directed at the driver (eye tracking, heart rate and breath gauging or neuro-imaging), other techniques test the on-board car systems and still others test the visual and radar monitoring of the environment outside the vehicle. All of these techniques, for one thing enable tracing the driver’s actions and for another, provide information about the processes which affect the driving person.
It should be noted that, owing to the above mentioned study, new knowledge is being developed. Both the research conducted with modern equipment, such as the systems of visual and radar analysis of the driver’s surrounding area, and the systems which gauge psychophysical condition of the person, even if they might not ensure our totally comprehensive grasp of the safety processes in transport, yet they provide new and valuable information which is expected to facilitate our understanding of the role and influence of psychophysical processes in a driver on safety in the road traffic. Data collected with such methods will enhance our knowledge with details that have been unknown so far. Besides, the methods will let us perceive the phenomena which may, for that matter, serve to verify current theories or even lay the foundations for totally innovative knowledge that may help to analyse the influence of the driver’s psychophysical condition on the road traffic safety. What is more, the resultant knowledge may be further employed to work out effective tools for aiding safety to different means of transport in motion. The development of tools and methods which are supposed to enhance and ensure safety in the road transport is the clue issue being tackled by both domestic institutions and the European Union. For a few years now, safety in the road traffic in developed countries has been one of the essential issues regularly discussed and studied.
The aim of this article is to present both the testing methods as well as the role of psychophysical condition of the driver on safety in the road traffic.

Keywords


safety in the road transport, the driver, techniques of psychophysical testing, simulator

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