Driving whilst using in-vehicle information systems (IVIS): benchmarking the impairment to alcohol

Using the lane change task (LCT) a comparison of driving performance was made between normal (baseline) driving, driving whilst using an in-vehicle information system (IVIS) and driving while intoxicated at the UK blood alcohol level (80 mg per 100 ml). The results provided clear evidence for impaired performance of the LCT when performing an IVIS task in comparison to both baseline (LCT alone) and alcohol conditions. However, the LCT was found to be insensitive to the effects of alcohol in the absence of a secondary task. It is concluded that LCT performance can be impaired more when undertaking certain IVIS tasks than by having a blood alcohol level at the UK legal limit but the LCT requires further development before it can be used as a convincing proxy for the driving task.