Impact of Auditory Alert on Driving Behavior and Prefrontal Cortex Response in a Tunnel: An Actual Car Driving Study
For traffic safety purposes, appropriate preparation time for emergent events is important. This study investigated the effect of an auditory (verbal) alert on a driver in a tunnel, specifically analyzing prefrontal cortical activation that related to attention and driving behavior. Eighteen healthy adults (35.2 ± 8.9 years old) participated by driving two times at about 60 km/h in the right lane of a two-lane road, once with an auditory alert of an oncoming construction event in the left lane, and once without the alert. The auditory alert increased prefrontal cortex activation and mitigated the sudden decrease in accelerator pedal opening related to the driver seeing the event. Our findings suggest that auditory alerts may promote smooth driving behavior and suggest they may be possible traffic safety measures.
KeywordsCar driving Traffic safety measures Acceleration change Prefrontal cortex activation Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
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