Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

James P. Bliss

Committee Member

Yusuke Yamani

Committee Member

Richard N. Landers


Driving demands sustained driver attention. This attentional demand increases with decreasing field visibility. In the past researchers have explored and investigated how collision avoidance warning systems (CAWS) help improve driving performance. The goal of the present study is to determine whether auditory or tactile CAWS have a greater effect on driver performance, perceived workload, system trust, and situation awareness (SA). Sixty-three undergraduate students from Old Dominion University participated in this study. Participants were asked to complete two simulated driving sessions along with Motion Sickness Susceptibility Questionnaire, Background Information Questionnaire, Trust Questionnaire, NASA Task Load Index Questionnaire, Situation Awareness Rating Technique Questionnaire, and Simulator Sickness Questionnaire. Analyses indicated that drivers in the tactile modality condition had low perceived workload. Drivers in the heavy fog visibility condition had the highest number of collisions and red-light tickets. Drivers in the heavy fog condition also reported having the highest overall situation awareness. Drivers in the clear visibility condition trusted tactile alarms more than the auditory alarms, whereas drivers in the heavy fog condition trusted auditory alarms more than tactile alarms. The findings of this investigation could be applied to improve the design of CAWS that would help improve driver performance and increase safety on the roadways.


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