Field Study to Evaluate Driver Fatigue Performance in Air-Inflated Truck Seat Cushions: Subjective Results

Air-inflated seat cushions have been proposed as replacements for traditional foam cushions, leading to the need to develop new methods for evaluating and comparing the ride comfort characteristics of different types of seat cushions. This paper reports the subjective results from a project investigating the effectiveness of several newly proposed metrics to compare fatigue performance between standard foam versus air-inflated truck seat cushions. Some fundamental differences between air-inflated and foam seat cushions based on driver perceptions are highlighted. Road tests were performed using existing commercial trucks in the daily operations of a commercial trucking fleet. A retrofit air-inflated seat cushion was installed in the fleet's trucks, and the drivers were allowed to adjust to the seats over approximately one week. After this adjustment period, twelve drivers rode on both the air-inflated seat cushion and their original foam seat cushion during their regularly scheduled routes. Surveys were collected throughout the test sessions and the truck seats were fitted with instrumentation to capture physical measurements of seat pressure distribution. These results suggest that air-inflated cushions offer advantages in comfort, support and fatigue. Although the adjustability of the air-inflated cushions increased complexity and made it harder for drivers to get in and out the vehicle, air-inflated cushions were preferred over foam cushions by most of the drivers tested.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 23-30
  • Monograph Title: Safety Performance and Accident Free Driving

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01003802
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0768015332
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 10 2005 3:27PM