The relationship between pupil diameter changes and vehicle accidents in a driving simulator environment
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between changes in pupil diameter at the moment of a vehicle accident and the severity of the accident. Drivers� pupil diameters were analyzed using an eye-tracking device within a driving simulation environment. The diameter of a pupil changes not only in response to light, but also in response to other factors involving both cognitive and emotional activities. In this study, we hypothesize that the patterns of pupil diameter changes could serve to indicate when an accident occurs as well as the severity of the accident. To investigate the relationship between the drivers� pupil diameter and the seriousness of a car accident, multiple hazardous events were tested in a driving simulation environment. The eye-tracking technology was applied to measure and analyze changes in a driver�s visual attention level and pupil dilation during vehicle accident events. The patterns of pupil diameter changes were compared based on the severity of car accidents. The experiment results showed that there was a significant difference in pupil dilation patterns between minor crashes and severe crashes. The slope of the pupil diameter change in major vehicle accidents is steeper than in minor vehicle accidents. Furthermore, the results from the vehicle accident videos and pupillary data show that the drivers� attention level and the time to collision have a significant impact on the pattern of pupil diameter changes. The findings of this study provide a new way to develop human-centered driver assistant systems and improve the speed of roadside rescues when an accident occurs. This study will also contribute to the development of an algorithm to measure accident severity levels and better inform emergency medical personnel to enable them to deal with car accidents quickly and efficiently.
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