Drivers risk of contracting COVID-19

Drivers touch their faces on average 26 times an hour, which can spread germs and infections like COVID-19 if hand washing is not appropriate. These results were revealed by new research from University of Nottingham (United kingdom).

In their work published in the journal Ergonomics, the researchers analyzed 31 hours of archival video footage obtained in two road driving studies, where they have been documented. 36 experienced drivers.

It was observed that with little or no conscience On their own, the drivers touched their face or surroundings 26.4 times an hour, and each touch lasted Almost four seconds. The face was most touched (79.6%), followed by hair (10%), neck (8.6%) and shoulders (1.7%).

On 42.5 percent of the occasions, drivers contacted mucous membranes (the inner lining of the lips, nose, and eyes) harshly every five minutesThe tips of the fingers and thumbs are the most frequently used areas, and are often overlooked when washing hands.

The data indicated absence of disagreements Across races and ages, indicating that all drivers are at risk of potential contamination by touching their faces while driving. road car.

The researchers acknowledge that facial touching behaviors – such as rubbing the nose and wiping ears – may be more frequent than what they observed, especially when drivers are traveling. Alone in “Privacy” from your own car.

“Face-touching behaviors pose a transmission risk for the driver, especially if the vehicle is shared or occupied by multiple people, and if hand hygiene is poor. scratch your nose Or eye rubbing, for example, a driver may inadvertently transfer viruses or other dangerous foreign materials, acquired from a control unit or surface of a vehicle, to his or her face. polluted vehicle While driving or before riding,” explains David R. Large, one of the research leaders.

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Leadership, as a task, already has many Physical Contact Points It requires manual handling of the various control devices. “It is clear that understanding how intrinsic human behaviors, such as face touching, are permeated, the potential impact they have on health and hygiene, and task-related factors, such as function and performance, is important,” he says. the scientist .

According to the article, the complexity of handling the vehicle and the resulting workload (physical and cognitive requirements for driving) Significant impact In the frequency of facial touches.

Drivers appeared to be less likely to touch their faces during shifts high workloadFor example, when preparing or performing a lane change or turning maneuver (21.7 Fewer touches of the face).

Touching the face of the leadership Covid


The results of the study offer a new perspective to explain how people’s habits, such as touching the face, interferes with routine driving tasks, and is an underestimated field of study hitherto.

Study co-author Finian Ralph believes that reducing or Eliminate physical contact The lack of need for vehicle surfaces and devices can reduce transportation and re-imagine the driver and passenger experience.

The results of the study can serve as a basis for design Technological solutions, like completely “contactless” interfaces, which use, for example, facial or hand gestures to interact with jobs Information, entertainment and comfort in the car.

moreover, driver control systems (which can actually detect fatigue and distraction by tracking the rate of head blinking and head tilt, among other physical indicators) could be developed and deployed to detect or predict involuntary facial touches.

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Receive a precautionary warning

“This way, the driver can be alerted if the system detects it unusual behavior Indicates that the face has been touched, or a protective warning is received, for example, during periods of reduced workload behind the wheel, when our study results suggest that facial touch may be greater, although such warnings are known to It can be annoyingAxplica Ralph.

Can also pay attention to the car environment to discourage touching the face Simple and cost-effective solutions, as prominent warnings to raise awareness.

Health awareness campaigns, similar to those already deployed during the current COVID-19 pandemic, can help improve awareness Tell drivers about the potential dangers associated with touching their faces and encourage them to avoid it. They can also promote hand-washing practices before getting in a car and advise drivers Hands are disinfected when riding in the car.

the Reminders and notifications They can be located inside vehicles, within the driver’s natural field of view, or integrated into human-machine interfaces (such as the in-vehicle infotainment panel) to enhance awareness. Accreditation and maintenance of these new behaviors.

Terry Alexander

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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