A Research Framework for Studying Transit Bus Driver Distraction

Hampton University's Eastern Seaboard Intermodal Transportation Applications Center (ESITAC) conducted an exploratory study on bus driver distraction at Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) to identify sources of driver distraction and the risks associated while engaging in potential distracting tasks. Analysis of accidents has found driver distraction to be a significant cause of accidents on the highways. Hence, studying the causes of driver distraction that impact its risk level is needed for an overall understanding of accident occurrences. There is general scarcity of research in this field; therefore, no established research framework to study transit driver distractions is available. However, to conduct and implement a driver distraction study in other bus transit agencies, it would be helpful to develop a standard framework for data collection, analysis, and prediction of driver distraction under various conditions. The proposed framework would provide guidelines for distraction studies for wide range of cost and time intervals such as a quick, low cost study like analysis of existing accident databases to relatively higher cost, longer duration study like field data collection and statistical modeling and analysis. The framework would also include statistical and simulation tools to assess and validate the historical or empirical results. This ESITAC project proposes to formulate a research framework for data collection, analysis, modeling and predicting driver distraction that could be used by other transit agencies. The framework will be based on the careful modifications and revisions of the research work conducted at HRT. Data from other transit agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia is anticipated and would possibly be utilized in development of this framework. The framework will include procedures for studying driver distraction at transit agencies, a standard taxonomy of distracting activities and their classification, modeling of high risk distracting activities to analyze driver characteristics and external factors, and tools for validating and predicting distraction levels. The major deliverable from the proposed research will include a research framework consisting of the following modules for studying driver distraction at any transit agency: (1) standardized data collection processes; (2) list of possible sources of distraction; (3) method of classifying risk activities; (4) techniques to model and analyze risky activities; (5) methods to validate the model results; (6) guidelines to use results for development of policy and procedures; and (7) guidelines to select an appropriate distraction study method.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $460000.00
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      University Transportation Centers Program
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Performing Organizations:

      Hampton University

      School of Business
      Hampton, VA  United States  23668
    • Principal Investigators:

      Dsouza, Kelwyn

      Maheshwari, Sharad

    • Start Date: 20120620
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20130531
    • Source Data: RiP Project 31986

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01501467
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Eastern Seaboard Intermodal Transportation Applications Center
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0029
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Dec 20 2013 1:00AM