Rethinking the Evaluation of Driver Behavior Analysis Approaches

Weiheng Chai, Jiyang Wang, Jiajing Chen, Senem Velipasalar, Anuj Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Crashes caused by distracted driving result in more than 3000 deaths every year in the U.S. Distracted driver behavior detection is instrumental for driver assist systems. Researchers have focused on autonomously detecting distracted driver behavior so that drivers can be alerted in time to reduce the risk of crashes. Despite the large number of approaches presented in the literature, there are still issues related to proper performance evaluation, reproducibility and lack of or very slow adoption of these approaches by the transportation industry. Most existing approaches either do not provide documented and usable codes or use private datasets, or do not present the experiment details, such as data split, sometimes resulting in inflated accuracy numbers. Moreover, these factors also make many results not reproducible. In addition, the performance metrics should be chosen carefully to measure various aspects of different methods, including their generalizability, and action localization ability in time. In this work, we perform a commensurate comparison of different state-of-the-art methods by using different data splits and performance metrics on the StateFarm distracted driving and AI CITY Challenge datasets. With the data split experiments, we highlight the importance of leave-N-driver-out cross validation, since these models should perform well in real-world testing with never-before-seen drivers. The results show the importance of data splitting and the performance metric for the comparison and evaluation of different methods, and their significant effects on the results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Behavioral sciences
  • Driver behavior analysis
  • Focusing
  • Location awareness
  • Measurement
  • Task analysis
  • Training
  • Vehicles
  • cross validation
  • data splitting
  • distracted driving
  • evaluation metric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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