Driving safety and real-time glucose monitoring in insulin-dependent diabetes

Jennifer Merickel, Robin High, Lynette Smith, Christopher Wichman, Emily Frankel, Kaitlin Smits, Andjela Drincic, Cyrus Desouza, Pujitha Gunaratne, Kazutoshi Ebe, Matthew Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Our goal is to address the need for driver-state detection using wearable and in-vehicle sensor measurements of driver physiology and health. To address this goal, we deployed in-vehicle systems, wearable sensors, and procedures capable of quantifying real-world driving behavior and performance in at-risk drivers with insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). We applied these methodologies over 4 weeks of continuous observation to quantify differences in realworld driver behavior profiles associated with physiologic changes in drivers with DM (N=19) and without DM (N=14). Results showed that DM driver behavior changed as a function of glycemic state, particularly hypoglycemia. DM drivers often drive during at-risk physiologic states, possibly due to unawareness of impairment, which in turn may relate to blunted physiologic responses (measurable heart rate) to hypoglycemia after repeated episodes of hypoglycemia. We found that this DM driver cohort has an elevated risk of crashes and citations, which our results suggest is linked to the DM driver's own momentary physiology. Overall, our findings demonstrate a clear link between at-risk driver physiology and real-world driving. By discovering key relationships between naturalistic driving and parameters of contemporaneous physiologic changes, like glucose control, this study directly advances the goal of driver-state detection through wearable physiologic sensors as well as efforts to develop "gold standard" metrics of driver safety and an individualized approach to driver health and wellness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Automotive Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • CGM
  • Diabetes
  • Driver behavior
  • Driver physiology
  • Driver safety
  • Driver state detection
  • Human engineering
  • Naturalistic driving
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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