Identifying the Effects of Visual Searching by Railway Drivers upon the Recognition of Extraordinary Events
The purpose of this study is to investigate effective visual-searching behaviours for recognising extraordinary events based on the eye movements of railway drivers. 121 railway-company drivers participated in our study using a driving simulator. An eye tracker equipped with the simulator measured the drivers’ eye movements. The given driving scenario was a multi-task scenario in which the main task was to stop the simulated train before a ground-device malfunction. The important sub-task was to recognise an extraordinary event, in this case, the subsidence of a railway track to their right. Participants who braked before passing the subsidence were identified as part of the recognising group; those who did not brake until after passing the subsidence were identified as part of the non-recognising group. Logistic-regression analysis was conducted, with the driver’s group as the objective variable. The explanatory variables were the means and standard deviations of gaze duration and horizontal and vertical visual angles, as well as the driver’s age and duration of driving experience. The variables used to improve the possibility of recognising subsidence were the standard deviation of the gaze duration, the means of the horizontal and vertical visual angles and the driver’s age. The standard deviation of the gaze duration had the largest influence among these four variables.
KeywordsVisual searching Railway driver Recognition Extraordinary event
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