Measuring Cognitive Distraction in the Automobile

Three experiments were undertaken to measure and understand cognitive distraction while driving. The experiments involved participants performing different mental tasks including: listening to the radio or a book on tape; conversing with a passenger; using a hand-held or hands-free cell phone; using a speech-to-text based email system; or using an auditory version of the Operation Span (OSPAN) task. In the first (control) experiment, participants performed tasks while seated at a computer monitor to establish the cognitive workload of each task. The second experiment involved a driving simulator with a lead vehicle. Brake reaction time and following distance were measured during the performance of the tasks. In the third experiment, participants drove an instrumented vehicle in a residential area while performing the tasks. High definition cameras were used to record eye movement data at critical locations, such as, pedestrian crosswalks, two- and four-way stops, and stoplights. Data was used to create a rating system for cognitive distraction with listening to the radio at 1.21 and using a speech-to-text system at 3.06. The data suggests that the introduction of voice-based systems may increase driver distraction.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 53p

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01483811
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 13 2013 11:05AM