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Title: Driver distraction : managing the timing of in-vehicle tasks to improve driver safety
Author: Hibberd, Daryl Liam
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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Distracted driving can impair driving performance and increase the likelihood of a collision. Driver interaction with in-vehicle distractions can be highly damaging to driver safety and there is the potential for this threat to increase in future vehicles. The research reported in this thesis considers how to prevent in-vehicle distractions from producing a negative driver safety outcome. This thesis informs on a series of driving simulator studies in which driver responses to lead vehicle braking events are assessed in the presence of surrogate in-vehicle distracter tasks. The design of these studies was informed by previous research using the psychological refractory period paradigm, with each study focusing on a different aspect of in-vehicle task presentation. In summary, the results demonstrate that drivers are slower to respond to a lead vehicle braking event when an in-vehicle task is presented in the period immediately before or after it occurs. The absolute magnitudes of the distracting effects of an in- vehicle task vary with the number of concurrent distracter tasks and the stimulus and response modalities involved in the task. These results were observed with highly expected braking events. The expectancy of a braking effect appears to modulate the impact of a distracter task on braking performance, such that unexpected braking events are less affected by concurrent distractions. This thesis offers a novel and potentially valuable contribution to the management of in-vehicle task presentation so as to reduce the frequency of distracted driving and to mitigate its impacts when it occurs. The results of these studies are used to develop recommendations for an in-vehicle task presentation strategy, which could inform the design of future driver workload management systems. The barriers to implementation of these suggestions are discussed, followed by a summary of further study that could increase the utility of this work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available