How road narrowing impacts the trade-off between two adaptation strategies: Reducing speed and increasing neuromuscular stiffness

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Abstract

When drivers encounter a road narrowing two potential adaptation strategies come into play that may increase safety margins: decreasing speed and increasing neuromuscular stiffness of the arms. These two adaption strategies have so far been studied in isolation. We expect that there is a trade-off between these two strategies, and that risk duration would impact a driver's selection of the trade-off. Specifically, we hypothesized that for a short risk duration, drivers will favour increased neuromuscular stiffness over speed reduction; and vice versa for longer risk durations. Twenty-six participants drove in a driving simulator and encountered different risk durations; realized by road narrowings (from 3.6 m to 2.2 m) of varying lengths (10 m, 100 m, 250 m, and 500 m). The neuromuscular stiffness was quantified by measuring the grip force exerted by both hands. The results show that all road narrowing conditions successfully induced driver adaptations, as a significant reduction in speed and increase in grip force was observed. However, the tested drivers did not consistently select the hypothesized different trade-offs for increasing duration of road narrowing: a low correlation was found between speed and grip force adaptations. Interestingly, individual trade-off were consistent: the within-subject variability in speed-grip force adaptations was low across the tested risk durations. Future research should further elucidate the underlying motivations for these individual adaptation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, SMC 2020
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ, USA
PublisherIEEE
Pages3235-3240
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-8526-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event2020 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, SMC 2020 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 11 Oct 202014 Oct 2020

Conference

Conference2020 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, SMC 2020
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period11/10/2014/10/20

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