Support for NHTSA’s Development of Guidelines on Distraction-Potential From Visual-Manual Interfaces: An Examination of the Definition of “Task” and Task Taxonomies Based on Interviews With Experts

An interview study was conducted to gather input for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as it develops guidelines for preventing distraction from tasks performed with in-vehicle electronics devices. Nine experts were interviewed about the definition of “task” used in guidelines issued by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (2006), along with a broader set of supporting terms used in conjunction with the definition for “task,” when devices are tested for adherence to limits on distraction. These interviews explored four topics: (1) Definitions of “task” in use, (2) Other definitions used in conjunction with the definition of “task” (e.g., “goal,” “subgoal,” “subtask,” “start state,” “end state”), (3) Alternate definitions for “task,” and (4) Task taxonomies. The qualitative interview data were scored for main ideas and themes. Shared ideas (versus singleton ideas) were identified through frequency counts. Among the most salient findings was that the current definition of “task” seems well accepted, at least the main portions of it. This definition gives rise to fairly common practice among users. Ideas for improving the definition and its corollary definitions were gathered. Preliminary recommendations were offered for consideration as NHTSA develops an approach to defining tasks in its guidelines to prevent and limit distraction.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Glossary; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 86p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01491306
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT HS 811 782
  • Created Date: Aug 30 2013 7:27AM