Effects of Internal Distraction on Driving

Internal distractions can generally be defined as the decoupling of attention from an individual's perception of the outside world coincident with his or her shift in focus to internal thought processes. Mind wandering has been linked to performance degradation on tasks involving hazard perception, reading, working memory, sustained attention, and cognitive skills related to intelligence testing. Previous studies estimate that a driver whose mind wanders has a relative risk of being in a traffic crash or near crash comparable to risk estimates of talking on a cellphone, dialing a cellphone, and texting. Unfortunately, these studies did not focus on the frequency with which―and circumstance under which―mind wandering occurs during driving. Additionally, none of these studies directly compare the magnitude and effect of mind wandering to other forms of distraction. To quantify the effects of mind wandering on driving safety, a reliable method of mind wandering detection needs to be developed. The objective of this project is to review the current literature and algorithms associated with mind wandering detection and determine the plausibility of using different methods, or combinations of methods to assess the incidence and impact of mind wandering on traffic safety. The project will develop a methodology, informed by the literature/algorithm review, to detect mind wandering in a driving simulator and demonstrate and report on its effectiveness.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • See "Detecting and Quantifying Mind Wandering during Simulated Driving" Front. Hum. Neurosci., 08 August 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2017.00406

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $398712
  • Contract Numbers:

    DTNH2214C00404

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Byrd, Mary

  • Performing Organizations:

    Westat, Incorporated

    1650 Research Boulevard
    Rockville, MD  United States  20850
  • Start Date: 20140929
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20170808
  • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
  • Subprogram: Distracted driving

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01619674
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH2214C00404
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 22 2016 2:27PM