• Journal Article

A psychophysiological investigation of the effects of driving longer-combination vehicles

Citation

Apparies, R. J., Riniolo, T. C., & Porges, S. (1998). A psychophysiological investigation of the effects of driving longer-combination vehicles. Ergonomics, 41(5), 581-592. DOI: 10.1080/001401398186766

Abstract

Fatigue contributes to driving-related accidents and fatalities. Cardiovascular measures such as heart rate and heart rate variability may serve as early indicators of fatigue. In the current investigation, 24 professional truck drivers drove three truck configurations: single trailer, triple trailer A-dolly, and triple trailer C-dolly on a standard route that lasted between 8 and 10 h. During the driving session, continuous measures of heart rate were quantified on-line. In addition to heart rate, two measures of heart rate variability (i.e. respiratory sinus arrhythmia and the Traube-Hering-Mayer wave or 0.1 Hz oscillation) were derived from the beat-to-beat heart rate. Independent of configuration, heart rate increased and the measures of heart rate variability decreased during the driving route. Only heart rate statistically differed among the configurations. Since heart rate is physiologically linked to metabolic output, the results suggest that the observed effect may be due to the physical demands required to drive each truck configuration. In support of this conclusion, the heart rate effect was consistent with the subjective report of task demand. The slowest heart rates were observed while driving the least demanding configuration (i.e. single trailer). The fastest heart rates were observed while driving the most demanding configuration (i.e. triple trailer A-dolly)