Studies have shown that environmental factors affect driving behaviors. For instance, weather conditions and the presence of a passenger have been shown to significantly affect the speed of the driver. As one of the important measures of driving behavior is the gaze and head movements of the driver, such metrics can be potentially used towards understanding the effects of environmental factors on the driver’s behavior in real-time. In this study, using a naturalistic study platform, videos have been collected from six participants for more than four weeks of a fully naturalistic driving scenario. The videos of both the participants’ faces and roads have been cleaned and manually categorized depending on weather, road type, and passenger conditions. Facial videos have been analyzed using OpenFace to retrieve the gaze direction and head movements of the driver. Results, overall, suggest that the gaze direction and head movements of the driver are affected by a combination of environmental factors and individual differences. Specifically, results depict the distracting effect of the passenger on some individuals. In addition, it shows that highways and city streets are the cause for maximum distraction on the driver’s gaze.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Transportation Technology

Digital Object Identifier


MTI Project



Driver Behaviors, Gaze, Personalized Modeling, Environmental Factors, Human Factors


Physical and Environmental Geography | Transportation