Association of Subjective and Interpretive Drowsiness with Facial Dynamic Changes in Simulator Driving

Mohsen Karchani, Adel Mazloumi, Gebraeil Nasl Saraji, Arash Akbarzadeh, Ali Niknezhad, Mohammad Hossien Ebrahimi, Mehdi Raei, Mohammad Khandan


Background: Major injuries and death in accidents have roots in drowsiness. Sleepiness is a main result of insufficient sleep. It is vital to explore drowsiness and its level. There are various sorts of methods in the forms of subjective and objective approaches. The goal of this study was to detect the association of subjective and interpretive drowsiness with facial dynamic changes.

Methods: This experimental study was conducted in the Virtual Reality Lab, in Khaje-Nasir Toosi University of Technology, Tehran Iran on 40 drivers in 2015. Facial dynamic changes (eyes, mouth and eyebrows), Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) and Observer Rating of Drowsiness (ORD) were applied. The neural network and Viola-Jones were utilized for facial characteristics detection. Statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS version 21.

Result: Thirty-four drivers got drowsy during the test. They were selected randomly among suburban drivers at the age in a range of 26 to 60 yr old. Descriptive statistics of the dynamic changes in eyebrows, mouth and eyes showed that these features were of meaningful changes with respect to the level of drowsiness during driving. A relationship between the dynamic changes of facial features and ORD was recognized. Moreover, there was a significant relationship between facial expression and drowsiness (P<0.05).

Conclusions: Results of KSS and ORD illustrated that there were dynamic changes in eyes and mouth and eyebrow parameters while driver felt sleepy. This research is helpful in a way that specific changes in elements of face could be effective to provide tools to predict drowsiness.


Drowsiness; Facial dynamic changes; KSS; ORD; Simulator driving

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