The influence of a passenger and meditation before driving on driving behaviour and emotions – a simulator study


Abstract of the presentation :

More than 90% of road accidents can be tied back to human mistakes, which are often a consequence of distraction or stress. Previous studies have shown that other persons present in the car are potential sources of stress and distraction while driving. This piece of research aims at the replication of findings of a study indicating that presence of a co-pilot is increasing risky driving behaviour. In addition, the role of meditation before driving as source for reduction of stress is addressed. In a 2x2 between-subjects design, 60 participants completed a 10-minutes driving session on a driving simulator either alone or with a co-pilot. Before their driving session, participants spent 10 minutes either with relaxation or listening to an audiobook. In addition to subjective data on mood and emotions, psychophysiological signals such as EDA, ECG and respiration have been recorded. Findings indicate that the presence of a co-pilot did not increase risky driving. Analysis of data revealed however several interesting results with regard to psychophysiological and subjective measures.