Award Date

12-1-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member

Pushkin Kachroo

Second Committee Member

Ebrahim Saberinia

Third Committee Member

Masha Wilson

Fourth Committee Member

Amei Amei

Number of Pages

114

Abstract

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle incidents has been reported to be the leading cause of the accidental deaths in the United States accounting for more than 42,000 deaths every year. Distracted driving and Driving under influence (DUI) are the major contributors to these roadway crashes. Moreover, drivers fatigue and drowsiness behind the wheel is another important factor contributing to the high fatality rate. These factors results in significant decline in the driver's abilities of perception, recognition and vehicle control.

It has also been reported by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that about 292,471 lives of passenger vehicle occupants age 5 and older were saved because of proper seat-belt use in such crashes from 1975 through 2011. Out of these about 11,949 lives were saved in 2011. According to an estimate provided by NHTSA, if all passenger vehicle occupants wore seat-belts an additional 3,384 would have been saved in 2011. Thus it is important to spread awareness about such accidents in the field of active safety research.

This thesis looks at the driver's seat-belt usage in Nevada for 2012 and also studies driver's performance behind the wheel under various distractions and impairments on the driver. This has been primarily done to focus on the driver's attitude towards road safety. By conducting a seat-belt usage survey across Nevada in the year 2012, we have captured seat-belt usage across gender, age groups, ethnicity, vehicle types, state of registration, road types and in different counties. This data was further provided to NHTSA to focus primarily on the areas with low seat-belt usage during the Click it or Ticket (CIOT) mobilization campaign. Another aspect of the research work was to study driver's performance behind the wheel under various impairments and distractions induced on the driver. This study has been conducted in a laboratory environment to avoid any potential dangers to anyone associated with the study. A driver was provided with a cell phone to text and talk while driving on a driving simulator located at Transportation research Center (TRC). Moreover, to induce a similar effect as alcohol, a driver was provided with fatal vision goggles with varying Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) while the driver's road performance was recorded on the simulator.

Keywords

Automobile drivers – Attitudes; Automobile driving; Automobiles – Seat belts; Driver's Performance; Sampling Methodology; Seat-belt Usage; Traffic safety

Disciplines

Electrical and Computer Engineering | Transportation

Language

English


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