THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION ON DRIVING BEHAVIOUR IN SIMULATED CONDITIONS

This paper reports some results of an experiment, which is part of a larger study examining the causes of weekend accidents among young drivers in Belgium. The experiment was conducted to study the influence of driving inexperience and alcohol consumption on driving behaviour. Its sub-experiments used the same set-up, but had different subjects, mental loads and procedures. The primary task was to drive a traffic simulator, using a filmed daily-life traffic simulation, and the secondary task was a probe reaction to a visual stimulus. Probe reaction time was measured, and used to estimate the amount of spare capacity when performing the primary task. Performance data were recorded by electronic measuring devices in the simulator, and analysed by computer. Each subject consumed alcohol before the experiment, and blood alcohol concentration was estimated using an electronic breath analysis test. Subjects were students, selected from party-goers and active pub visitors. It was found that attention capacities, as measured by probe reaction times, were reduced by alcohol consumption, and also by lack of driving experience and the complexity of the driving situation. However, it was not clear whether mental processes were affected more than physical processes. For the covering abstract see IRRD 866577.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 637-42
  • Monograph Title: ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND TRAFFIC SAFETY-T92. CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00670007
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 3824901315
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 23 1994 12:00AM