Driving while fatigued (sleepiness), is sometimes compared to driving under the influence of alcohol and is a major international road safety problem, that causes many traffic accidents. It is even more problematic among professional drivers who spend long hours behind the wheel, some driving heavy vehicles and others transporting passengers. The goal of this study is to develop a simple and easy to administer cognitive-behavioral test, that is capable of instantaneously determining if the driver is too tired to drive. The test will resemble a portable computer game.
In the first phase of the study, a literature review will be conducted in order to locate studies related to the influence of fatigue on different cognitive functions and the importance of these cognitive functions for driving performance. Another literature review will focus on existing cognitive tests designed to measure relevant cognitive functions. The tests would be scored according to their suitability to serve as fatigue tests for drivers. At the same time, a new test based on the cognitive functions found to be most essential for driving safety will be developed.
In the next phase, the existing cognitive test with the best scores and our newly developed test will be assessed via a driving simulator experiment. The validity of each test will be evaluated by exploring its ability to assess decreased in driving performance which can be explained by the drivers' level of fatigue. The results of this study will help select the optimal test to be proposed as a basis for developing a suitable tool for assessing drivers' fatigue.