Investigating the relationship between user physiology and the traffic environment to identify its impact on road behavior

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2022-12
Authors
Venkatachalapathy, Archana
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Sharma, Anuj
Sarkar, Soumik
Day, Christopher
Hallmark, Shauna
Krishnamurthy, Adarsh
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Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
Abstract
Transportation is a fundamental part of human life. Safety is its most critical aspect due to the gravity of the damage caused by traffic accidents, and its significant contributor has been human errors. Human error can result from a cognitive impairment that deteriorates the ability to focus and commute safely on roads. Their causes can be external or internal. This dissertation primarily focuses on identifying these factors and their impact on users' road behavior through three individual studies. The first two studies focus on identifying roadway and traffic features impacting physiological stress in drivers and cyclists. The final study focuses on the speed limit adherence behavior of drivers with Diabetes Mellitus who are categorized as vulnerable with an increased risk for accidents. Naturalistic studies form the common theme for methodology in this dissertation. Cameras attached to the vehicle or bicycle collected traffic videos that provided vital information regarding traffic conflicts, roadway geometry, and traffic flow. Physiological data such as electrodermal activity and blood glucose levels were recorded using an Empatica E4 watch and cumulative glucose monitors. Data from different sources were merged into a comprehensive database and analyzed. With each study, significant contributions have been made in highlighting factors that increase the risk of traffic accidents across the different user groups. Also, they strongly emphasize the role of human physiology in transportation and advocate for relative strategies to create safe roadways for all.
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