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Title: Assessing driver behaviour due to in-car distractions
Author: Williamson , Oscar W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 9695
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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In-car distractions have always been present in one form or another. There is no doubt that passenger conversations impaired drivers historically, and continue to do so; however, the new incarnations of low-cost microprocessor controlled nomadic and integrated equipment, compound upon, not replace those historic distractors. The consequence is that these highly distracting secondary tasks pervade and compete for drivers' finite resources, and thereby contribute to collisions that result in deaths and serious injuries for society to injure. To better understand the impact of distractions on the most impressionable driving cohort, an even gender-split of young (18-24) Northern Ireland residing drivers, were asked to participate with a laboratory based experiment, which was also complimented with an on-line survey. The Laboratory experiment was primarily based on the ISO 26022:2010 lane change test (LeT) and the prototype ISO 17488 detection response task (DRT); and data was collected for driver impairment (car control and selective attention) and driver workload (objective: Reali Rate Fluctuation, and subjective: NASA TLX). This study found that complex visual distractors impaired selective attention and car control, but the latter impairment was disproportionately extreme; whereas, complex auditory distractions also had a significant degree of selective attention impairment, but had a limited effect on car control; furthermore, the compounded interaction between distraction types was observed for the texting task, which required both physical and complex visual inputs, resulting in an impairment that was exaggerated by the influence of the complex visual distraction type. Therefore, the degree and manifestation of driver impairment, was directly relative to the distraction type and severity of the secondary task performed whilst driving, and the compounded impairment caused with secondary tasks with more than one sensory distraction type, was predominantly defined by the most influential component.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available