Individual differences

People differ in the extent to which they get fatigued and in the way they cope with (driver) fatigue. Investigating driving performance on a 2 hour and 15 minutes night-time simulator drive, Verweij & Zaidel [106] found that persons who were extraverted (assertive, gregarious, excitement seeking) and easily bored, and who had an external locus of control, demonstrated more serious driving errors as a result of fatigue.


Likewise, Thiffault & Bergeron [104] found relations between a personality disposition to driving and fatigue behaviour. In their experiment, 56 male drivers were observed on two different road settings (monotonous environment vs. visually diversified scenery). They showed that higher levels of “sensation seeking” and “experience seeking” went together with higher variability of steering wheel movement. In addition, extraverted persons and “high sensation seekers” were more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.


Van Winsum [112] found that young and elderly drivers became equally tired by a prolonged drive in a simulator. Fatigue had a negative effect on keeping course, but the negative effect was more pronounced for elderly drivers.


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