Newer types of driver distraction may come from cell phones, navigation systems, information or entertainment systems, and other driver-interactive devices. In this article, the author uses a control theory framework to bring some better definition to the problem of driver distraction. The author develops a definition of driver distraction, discusses its element from the viewpoint of control engineering, and offers a framework for analysis. Driver distraction is viewed as a disturbance imposed within a lateral or longitudinal control vehicle loop. Loci and causes of distraction are represented as disturbances to various functional elements of a control loop involving driver intending (goal setting), sensing, deciding on control response, dynamics of the vehicle, and human body activation and energetics. The driver's attention switching from environmental observation and control to internal device manipulation is modeled as sampled-data control. The author also discusses mental modeling and anticipation of events in the driver's preview.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This issue of Human Factors is dated Winter 2004
  • Corporate Authors:

    Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

    P.O. Box 1369
    Santa Monica, CA  United States  90406-1369
  • Authors:
    • Sheridan, T B
  • Publication Date: 2004


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: p. 587-599
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00986519
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 14 2005 12:00AM