Monotonous Driving Environment along Highway and Driver Behaviour in Malaysia: A Review

M. Zainon, M. Zaly Shah, M.A. Chiroma, M.A. Kafi


Driver alertness, behaviour, and performance are central aspects of road traffic safety to achieve sustainable mobility. In addition, the type of environment where mobility occurs tend to affect drivers. Typically, monotonous stretches along highway deteriorate drivers' vigilance thus leading to fatigue, drowsiness, and even crashes. Based on extensive review of related literature, this paper shall present the various issues of monotonous driving environment, countermeasures, as well as related research in Malaysia, aside from highway landscaping and other fatigue related road safety issues. Despite the significant amount of research on such issues, due to the current development trend and the highly motorised nature of Malaysia, there is need for more robust research especially in terms of countermeasure improvement and appraisal as well as development of monotony effect indices.


Monotony; environment; vigilance; safety; fatigue; landscape

Full Text:



Abdullah, D.N.M.A., & Von, H.L. (2011). Factors of fatigue and bus accident. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Innovation, Management and Service: International Proceedings of Economics Development and Research, 14, 317-322.

Abd Rahman, N.I., Dawal, S. Z. M., & Bahreininejad, A. (2013). The effects of driving environment on the mental workload of train drivers. Advanced Engineering Forum, 10, 93-99. doi: 10.4028/

Ab. Rahman, N.A. (1990). Integrated ornamental plants into the highway landscape. Recent Advances in Horticultural Science in the Tropics, 292, 237-246.

Ahmad, M.S., Zulkipli, Z.H., Ameer Batcha, W., Paiman, N.F., Mohd Faudzi, S.A., Othman, I., & Osman, M.R. (2017). An observational study on speeding among Malaysian express bus drivers. Journal of the Society of Automotive Engineers Malaysia, 1(2), 94-102.

Ali, N.M., Karis, M.S., Abidin, A.F.Z., Bakri, B., & Razif, N.A. (2015). Traffic sign detection and recognition: Review and analysis. Jurnal Teknologi, 77(20), 107-113.

Ameer Batcha, W., Othman, I., Mohamad Suffian, A., Mohd Fahmi, A., Mohamed, N., & Wong, S.V. (2013). Obstructive sleep apnea among commercial vehicle drivers in Malaysia: Issues and initiatives. Health, 5(8B), 80-86.

Antonson, H., MaÌŠrdh, S., Wiklund, M., & Blomqvist, G. (2009). Effect of surrounding landscape on driving behaviour: A driving simulator study. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29(4), 493- 502.

Arun, S., Murugappan, M., & Sundaraj, K. (2011). Hypovigilance warning system: A review on driver alerting techniques. Paper presented at 2011 IEEE Control and System Graduate Research Colloquium (ICSGRC), Shah Alam, Malaysia.

Arun, S., Sundaraj, K., & Murugappan, M. (2012a). Driver inattention detection methods: A review. Paper presented at 2012 IEEE Conference on Sustainable Utilization and Development in Engineering and Technology (STUDENT), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Arun, S., Sundaraj, K., & Murugappan, M. (2012b). Hypovigilance detection using energy of electrocardiogram signals. Journal of Scientific & Industrial Research, 71, 794-799.

Awais, M., Badruddin, N., & Drieberg, M. (2014a). Driver drowsiness detection using EEG power spectrum analysis. Paper presented at 2014 IEEE Region 10 Symposium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Awais, M., Badruddin, N., & Drieberg, M. (2014b). A simulator based study to evaluate driver drowsiness using electroencephalogram. Paper presented at 2014 5th International Conference on IEEE Intelligent and Advanced Systems (ICIAS), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Balubaid, S., Bujang, M., Aifa, W.N., Seng, F.K., Raja Muhammad Rooshdi, R.R., Hamzah, N., Mohd Yazid, Y.S., Abd. Majid, M.Z., Mohamad Zin, R., Zakaria, R., Hainin, M.R., Yaacob, H., & Ismail, H.H. (2015). Assessment index tool for green highway in Malaysia. Jurnal Teknologi, 77(16), 99-104.

Bekdash, M., Asirvadam, V.S., Kamel, N., & Yanti, D.K. (2016). Estimation of driver alertness to different colours and intensities using brain visual evoked potentials. Paper presented at 2016 6th International Conference on Intelligent and Advanced Systems (ICIAS), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Chen, H., Fabregas, A., & Lin, P.-S. (2016). Landscaping of highway medians and roadway safety at unsignalized intersections. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 90, 63-72.

Dababneh, L., & El-Gindy, M. (2015). Driver vigilance level detection systems: A literature survey. International Journal of Vehicle Performance, 2(1), 1-29.

Fletcher, L., Petersson, L., & Zelinsky, A. (2005). Road scene monotony detection in a fatigue management driver assistance system. Paper presented at 2005 IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, Las Vegas, NV, USA.

Gastaldi, M., Rossi, R., & Gecchele, G. (2014). Effects of driver task-related fatigue on driving performance. Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences, 111, 955-964.

Hassan, H., Yaacob, S., Radman, A., & Suandi, S.A. (2016). Eye state detection for driver inattention based on Lucas Kanade optical flow algorithm. Paper presented at 2016 6th International Conference on Intelligent and Advanced Systems (ICIAS), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Hosni, N., Yusoff, N., & Ismail, H.N. (2013). The reliability test of visual landscape features measurement in highlands tourism planning. Planning Malaysia Journal, 11(2), 163-190.

Hosseinpour, M., Yahaya, A.S., & Mohd Sadullah, A.F. (2014). Exploring the effects of roadway characteristics on the frequency and severity of head-on crashes: Case studies from Malaysian Federal Roads. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 62, 209-222.

Hussain, N., & Abdul-Aziz, F.A. (2016). Enhancing quality of life: Restorative experience in recreational forests in Selangor, Malaysia. Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 1(2), 89-95.

Jaal, Z., & Abdullah, J. (2012). User’s preferences of highway landscapes in Malaysia: A review and analysis of the literature. Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences, 36, 265-272.

Jaal, Z., Abdullah, J., & Ismail, H. (2013). Malaysian North South Expressway landscape character: Analysis of users’ preference of highway landscape elements. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 179, 365-376.

Kamaliana, K.N., Md Deros, B., Schramm, D., Hesse, B., Nuawi, M.Z., & Ismail, F.R. (2016). Subjective and indirect methods to observe driver’s drowsiness and alertness: An overview. Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, 11, 28-39.

Kee, S., Mohd Tamrin, S.B., & Goh, Y. (2010). Driving fatigue and performance among occupational drivers in simulated prolonged driving. Global Journal of Health Science, 2(1), 167-177.

Khamis, N.K., Md Deros, B., Nuawi, M.Z., & Omar, R.B. (2014). Driving fatigue among long distance heavy vehicle drivers in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 663, 567- 573.

Khoo, H.L., & Ahmed, M. (2015). A case study of public bus driver behaviour at Batu Feringghi. Journal of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies, 11, 1982-1998.

Krishnan, S., Hizam, S.M., Firdhaus, A., Sarah, S., & Taufiq, A. (2017). Analysis of exhaustion related psychological risk factors among oil and gas tanker drivers in Malaysia. International Journal of Advanced and Multidisciplinary Social Science, 3(1), 22-27.

Larue, G.S., Rakotonirainy, A., & Pettitt, A.N. (2010a). Driving performance on monotonous roads. Paper presented at 20th Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference, Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Larue, G.S., Rakotonirainy, A., & Pettitt, A.N. (2010b). Predicting driver’s hypovigilance on monotonous roads: Literature review. Paper presented at 1st International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Larue, G.S., Rakotonirainy, A., & Pettitt, A.N. (2015). Predicting reduced driver alertness on monotonous highways. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 14(2), 78-85.

Mohd Maksid, N.H., & Hamsa, A.A.K. (2014). Evaluating the effects of road geometrical design towards spot speed distribution on arterial road. Planning Malaysia, Journal of the Malaysia Institute of Planners, Special Issue III, 113-130.

MIROS (2017). General road accident data in Malaysia. Kajang, Selangor: Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research. Retrieved from

Mohamed, N., Mohd Yusoff, M.F., Othman, I., Zulkipli, Z.H., & Osman, M.R. (2009). An impact assessment of banning wee-hour express bus operation (MRR 10/2009). Kajang, Selangor: Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research.

Mohamed, N., Mohd Yusoff, M.F., Othman, I., Zulkipli, Z.H., Osman, M.R., & Voon, W.S. (2012). Fatigue-related crashes involving express buses in Malaysia. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 45, 45-49.

Mohd Ariffin, M.Q., Ilyas, R., Mohd Siam, M.F., Borhan, N., & Md Saad, M.H. (2012). Review on the application of driving simulators for research and training activities in Malaysia. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 165, 252-259. doi: 10.4028/

Mohd Siam, M.F., Borhan, N., & Sukardi, A. (2017). Driving simulator development with two degrees of freedom motion for driver behavior study. Journal of the Society of Automotive Engineers Malaysia, 1(1), 4-11.

Mohd Soid, N.F., Isah, N., & Mohd Jawi, Z. (2017). A study on Malaysian long-haul bus drivers’ inappropriate driving behaviours and attitude towards traffic safety. Journal of Advanced Vehicle System, 4(1), 28-37. Skudai, Johor: Akademia Baru.

Mokhtar, S., & Shimizu, T. (2016). An analysis of service needs for self-drive tourist: Proposing for better policies for Malaysia’s road network. Social Technology Research Paper (ç¤¾ä¼šæŠ€è¡“ç ”ç©¶ 論文集), 13, 22-31.

Mokhtar, S., & Shimizu, T. (2017). Exploring the important driving satisfaction factors at different road segments: focus on tourism trips. Asian Transport Studies. Retrieved form

MOT (2016). Transport statistic Malaysia 2015. Putrajaya: Ministry of Transport Malaysia. Retrieved from

Oron-Gilad, T., & Ronen, A. (2007). Road characteristics and driver fatigue: A simulator study. Traffic Injury Prevention, 8(3), 281-289.

Osman, M.R., Abas, F., Noh, M.S., Ahmad, M.S., Othman, I., Zulkipli, Z.H., Ameer Batcha, W., Paiman, N.F., & Mohd Faudzi, S.A. (2010). Safety practices among bus operators during wee hour operations. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, 4(11), 2148-2153.

Monotony (2017). In Retrieved from definition/monotony

PLUS (2017). Our expressways: North-South Expressway (NSE). Petaling Jaya, Selangor: PLUS Malaysia Berhad. Retrieved from article&id=67&Itemid=182〈=en

REAM (2002). A guide on geometric design of roads. Shah Alam: Road Engineering Association of Malaysia, Retrieved from Geometric-Design-of-Roads

Sahayadhas, A., Sundaraj, K., & Murugappan, M. (2012). Detecting driver drowsiness based on sensors: A review. Sensors, 12(12), 16937-16953.

Sahayadhas, A., Sundaraj, K., & Murugappan, M. (2013). Drowsiness detection during different times of day using multiple features. Australasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine, 36(2), 243-250.

Sahayadhas, A., Sundaraj, K., Murugappan, M., & Palaniappan, R. (2015). Physiological signal based detection of driver hypovigilance using higher order spectra. Expert Systems with Applications, 42(22), 8669-8677.

Sallinen, M., Pylkkönen, M., Henelius, A., Hyvärinen, H. K., Puttonen, S., Virkkala, J., & Sihvola, M. (2014). On-road study of fatigue management strategies in long-haul truck drivers. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 58(1), 2122-2125. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.

Shafaghat, A., Keyvanfer, A., & Muslim, N.H.B. (2016). Drivers’ adaptive travel behaviours towards green transportation development: A critical review. Archives of Transport, 38(2), 49-70. doi: 10.5604/08669546.1218793

STB (2014). Monthly publication: STB market insights. Singapore Tourism Board. Retrieved from

Mohd Tamrin, S.B., Saliman, K., Ng, Y.G., Mohd Yusoff, I.S. (2014). Stress; The vulnerability and association with driving performance. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 11(3), 448-454.

Thiffault, P., & Bergeron, J. (2003). Monotony of road environment and driver fatigue: A simulator study. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 35(3), 381-391.

Ting, P.H., Hwang, J.R., Doong, J.L., & Jeng, M.C. (2008). Driver fatigue and highway driving: A simulator study. Physiology and Behaviour, 94(3), 448-453.

Wali, M.K., Murugappan, M., & Ahmad, R.B. (2013). PNN based driver drowsiness level classification using EEG. Journal of Theoretical & Applied Information Technology, 52(3), 268- 272.

Williamson, T. (2003). Malaysia’s National Expressway. Space and Culture, 6(2), 110-131.

Zulhaidi, M.J., Mohd Hafzi, M.I., Rohayu, S., & Wong, S.V. (2010). An exploration of weather threats to road safety in tropical country. Paper presented at Expert Seminar on Accident Research, Hannover, Germany.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.
Publisher: Society of Automotive Engineers Malaysia.
eISSN: 2550-2239
ISSN: 2600-8092