Driving Distraction due to Drones

Drones are an emerging technology with various potential commercial and recreational uses. Based on the current literature and existing regulations related to drone operations, there are gaps in knowledge related to the potential safety concerns of drone operations near roadway infrastructures. A randomized, partially counterbalanced factorial experimental design was used to evaluate the effects of three independent variables – lateral offset, flight path, and land use – on driver distraction due to drone operations near the roadway. A total of 54 participants initiated the simulator study, 24% of whom experienced simulator sickness, resulting in a usable sample of 39 participants (17 women and 24 men). Study findings from the total fixation and dwell durations showed that the frequency and length of glances at drone operations increased the closer the drone operation was to the roadway. Drone operations seemed to be more distracting in rural environments. Finally, there was a potential for unsafe glances (dwell duration > 2 seconds) at all three lateral offsets: 0 ft, 25 ft, and 50 ft, although the greatest frequency occurred at the 0-ft offset.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 100p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01667622
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-OR-RD-18-12
  • Created Date: Mar 28 2018 8:56AM