Many traffic accidents are caused by, or at least related to, inadequate mental workload,
when it is either too low (vigilance) or too high (stress). Creating variations in
mental workload and accident-prone driving for research purposes is difficult in the
real world. In driving simulators the measurement of driver mental workload is relatively
easily conducted by means of physiological measures, although good research skills
are required and it is time-consuming. The fact that modern driving simulator environments
are laboratory-equivalent nowadays allows full control with respect to environmental
conditions, scenarios and stimuli, and enables physiological measurement of parameters
of mental workload such as heart rate and brain activity. Several examples are presented
to illustrate the potential of modern high-standard driving simulator environments
regarding the monitoring of drivers' mental workload during task performance.
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