Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

An investigation of the effects of the common cold on simulated driving performance and detection of collisions: a laboratory study

Smith, Andrew Paul ORCID: and Jamson, Samantha 2012. An investigation of the effects of the common cold on simulated driving performance and detection of collisions: a laboratory study. BMJ Open 2 (4) , e001047. 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001047

[thumbnail of Smith.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Download (205kB) | Preview


Objective The aim of the present research was to investigate whether individuals with a common cold showed impaired ability on a simulated driving task and the ability to detect potential collisions between moving objects. Design The study involved comparison of a healthy group with a group with colds. These scores were adjusted for individual differences by collecting further data when both groups were healthy and using these scores as covariates. On both occasions, volunteers rated their symptoms and carried out a simulated driving session. On the first occasion, volunteers also carried out a collision detection task. Setting University of Leeds Institute for Transport Studies. Sample Twenty-five students from the University of Leeds. Ten volunteers were healthy on both occasions and 15 had a cold on the first session and were healthy on the second. Main outcome measures In the collision detection task, the main outcomes were correct detections and response to a secondary identification task. In the simulated driving task, the outcomes were speed, lateral control, gap acceptance, overtaking behaviour, car following, vigilance and traffic light violations. Results Those with a cold detected fewer collisions and had a higher divided attention error than those who were healthy. Many basic driving skills were unimpaired by the illness. However, those with a cold were slower at responding to unexpected events and spent a greater percentage of time driving at a headway of <2 s. Conclusions The finding that having a common cold is associated with reduced ability to detect collisions and respond quickly to unexpected events is of practical importance. Further research is now required to examine the efficacy of information campaigns and countermeasures such as caffeine.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 26/02/2014)
Publisher: BMJ Publishing
ISSN: 2044-6055
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 10:36

Citation Data

Cited 11 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics