Effects of a Computer-Based Training Module on Drivers' Willingness to Engage in Distracting Activities

Young drivers tend to be heavy users of new technologies such as cell phones and they tend to express greater willingness to perform potentially distracting tasks while driving than older drivers. This makes them an important group for targeted distraction mitigation efforts. In this study, the effect of a computer-based interactive training module on drivers' attitudes and behaviors with respect to in-vehicle distraction is investigated. Forty drivers aged 18 to 20 years were divided into two groups: a training group that completed the module and a control group that viewed an unrelated video. The training promoted enhanced metacognitive skills (e.g., planning, monitoring) and strategies to deal with distraction. Measures of willingness to perform in-vehicle activities while driving were assessed before and after the intervention. Drivers also performed in-vehicle tasks while driving an instrumented vehicle on a closed test track. Results showed that drivers in the training group showed a decline in their ratings of willingness to engage in distracting activities along with a corresponding increase in perceived risk. Ratings from drivers in the control group did not change on any measures. Drivers in the training group were also more likely to perform in-vehicle tasks while the vehicle was parked compared with the control group. However, there was no observable benefit of training for drivers who performed the distracting tasks while the vehicle was in motion. Limitations of the study and directions for future research are discussed.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 571-581
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01146009
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 29 2009 10:37PM