Assessing post-driving discomfort and its influence on gait patterns

Marko M. Cvetkovic, Denise Soares, João Santos Baptista*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Professional drivers need constant attention during long driving periods and sometimes perform tasks outside the truck. Driving discomfort may justify inattention, but it does not explain post-driving accidents outside the vehicle. This study aims to study the discomfort developed during driving by analysing modified preferred postures, pressure applied at the interface with the seat, and changes in pre-and post-driving gait patterns. Each of the forty-four volunteers drove for two hours in a driving simulator. Based on the walking speed changes between the two gait cycles, three homogeneous study groups were identified. Two groups performed faster speeds, while one reduced it in the post-steering gait. While driving, the pressure at the interface and the area covered over the seat increased throughout the sample. Preferred driving postures differed between groups. No statistical differences were found between the groups in the angles between the segments (flexed and extended). Long-time driving develops local or whole-body discomfort, increasing interface pressure over time. While driving, drivers try to compensate by modifying their posture. After long steering periods, a change in gait patterns can be observed. These behaviours may result from the difficulties imposed on blood circulation by increasing pressure at this interface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8492
Number of pages12
JournalSensors
Volume21
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Drivers monitoring
  • Driving posture
  • Gait parameters
  • Interface pressure
  • Musculoskele-tal disorders
  • Prolonged sitting

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