Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD21-56 : Behavioral consequences of glare on driving

This job offer has expired

    Université Gustave Eiffel
    Psychological sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    21/03/2022 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Marne-La-Vallée
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND


In France, nighttime car traffic represents around 10% of the daily traffic, with almost as many fatalities as during the day. Multiple factors, such as alcohol, fatigue and degraded visual performance contribute to nighttime accidents (Grüner & Ansorge, 2017). Urban, road and automotive lighting can counter the effects of a degraded visual performance. Unfortunately, with the LED technology, risks of glare are increasing (ANSES, 2019). Very intense light sources, such as headlights, luminaires, or billboards, may cause glare that can make the driver uncomfortable and reduce his driving performance (Theeuwes et al., 2002; Wood, 2002). In addition to the consequences on safety and comfort, there may also be a negative impact on night mobility of some users, in particular the elderly, who are more sensitive to glare and often suffer from cataracts. This is a major issue in the context of an aging population.

The lighting literature has focused on the development of laboratory models allowing to characterize the glare of a lighting installation in terms of discomfort (CIE, 1995) and in terms of the degradation of the perceived contrast (CIE, 2002). But these models fail to address the impact of glare in everyday life, when people are not focused on an artificial laboratory task, but on an everyday task such as driving a car.

Some studies have compared road safety indexes with and without glare, but this literature is incomplete. With glare, a decrease in the motorist's ability to detect critical information, such as pedestrian, is found (Engel et al., 2017; Kimlin et al., 2017), as well as a reduction in the safety margin during left turns (Gray et al., 2011), a variation in speed and acceleration, and greater head movements (Bullough, 2008). According to Graf & Krebs (1976), drivers tend to look towards the crossed vehicle. However, these studies do not allow lighting engineers to control glare in the design of public and automotive lighting. To be able to quantify glare and its consequences on road safety, a link is needed between the psychophysical studies carried out in the laboratory and more ""ecological"" studies taking into account the driving behavior, in particular the gaze modifications induced by glare, as well as speed adaptation.

This PhD aims at studying the behavioral consequences of glare on driving performance, while controlling the physical parameters of glare. It aims at a better understanding of the links between the visual scene (in particular the photometric characteristics of glaring sources), the intensity of glare, visual behaviour (gaze direction, eye movements) and driving performance (speed, lateral position, target detection, etc.). To that purpose, a series of experiments will be carried out on a driving simulator using scenarios relevant to important aspects of the driving task: driving in a straight line, overtaking, pedestrian detection, crossing an intersection, etc. It is hypothesized that the impact of lighting on behavior depends on the driving situation.

The main objectives are:

  • To evaluate the impact of glare on driving performance;
  • To describe driver adaptation behaviors in the presence of glare;
  • To understand the link between glare, behavioral adaptation and degradation of the driving performance;
  • To make some proposals for glare diagnosis applied to public and automotive lighting.

A bibliography of the literature on glare and on the driving task will help identifying glare and safety indexes, as well as relevant driving scenarios. Driving simulator experiments will be designed to collect data related to the sensations and behavior of drivers in presence of glare sources around the screen (eye tracking, driving performance measurements, judgments of visual discomfort). The use of a driving simulator will make it possible to approach realistic conditions and collect behavioral measurements (speed adaptation, acceleration, trajectory, etc.). A field experiment may be considered during the third PhD year to validate the hypotheses.

This thesis will identify glare use cases and critical glare levels for a safe driving at night. This knowledge will provide a better understanding of road safety issues associated to glare, all the more important with an aging population. In addition, a better understanding of the consequences of glare may lead to quantitative recommendations (e.g. for billboard), and to develop strategies for new adaptive public and automobile lighting.


ANSES (2019) Effets sur la santé humaine et sur l’environnement (faune et flore) des diodes électroluminescentes (LED), 2014-SA-0253, Maisons-Alfort, France.

Bullough et al. (2008) Nighttime Glare and Driving Performance: Research Findings, DOT HS 811 043 Washington: NHTSA

CIE 117 (1995) Discomfort glare in interior lighting Report 117, CIE, Vienna.

CIE 146 (2002) Collection on Glare. Technical Report 146/147, CIE, Vienna.

Engel et al. (2017). Driving at night with a cataract: Risk homeostasis? Transportation Research Part F: Traffic psychology and behaviour 53: 61-73.

Graf & Krebs (1976) Headlight factors and nighttime vision (Final Report No. 76SRC13). Minneapolis, MN: Honeywell Inc., Systems and Research Center.

Gray et al. (2011) Reduced effect of glare disability on driving performance in patients with blue light-filtering intraocular lenses. J Cataract Refract Surg. 37, 38-44.

Grüner & Ansorge (2017) Mobile eye tracking during real-world night driving: A selective review of findings and recommendations for future research. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 10(2):1-18.

Kimlin JA, Black AA, Wood JM. (2017) Nighttime driving in older adults: effects of glare and association with mesopic visual function. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017; 58: 2796–2803

Theeuwes et al. (2002) Relations between glare and driving performance. Human Factors 44(1), 95-107.

Wood (2002) Age and Visual Impairment Decrease Driving Performance as Measured on a Closed-Road Circuit. Human Factors 44(3), 482-494."

International Mobility:

To be discussed with the PhD thesis supervisor.


More Information


  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.

Eligibility criteria

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree. At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline.
  • Applicants must be available to start the programme on schedule (around 1st October 2022).

Selection process

Additional comments

  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email: clear-doc@univ-eiffel.fr

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    Psychological sciences: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Good


  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.


Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université Gustave Eiffel
5, Boulevard Descartes

EURAXESS offer ID: 717580


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