HPC MSU

Publication Abstract

Evaluating Interactions of Task Relevance and Visual Attention in Driver Multitasking

Garrison, T. M., & McGinley, J. (2009). Evaluating Interactions of Task Relevance and Visual Attention in Driver Multitasking. IMAGE 2009 Conference and Exhibition: IMAGE Society.

Abstract

Use of cellular phones while driving, and safety implications thereof, has captured public and scientific interest. Previous research has shown that driver reactions and attention are impacted by cellular phone use. Generally, previous research studies have not focused on how visual attention and driver performance may interact. Strayer and colleagues found lower recognition for items present in the driving environment when drivers were using a cellular phone than when not using the phone; however, the tested items were not directly relevant to driving, which could have impacted attention allocation. The current project involves using a medium-fidelity driving simulator to extend previous research in two ways: 1) investigating the allocation of attention across driving-relevant and -irrelevant items in the environment, and 2) more tightly integrating driving performance measures and eye movement measures to better illustrate the impact of cellular phone distraction on driver behavior.