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The impact of verbal interaction on driver lateral control: an experimental assessment
journal contributionposted on 07.03.2013, 15:19 by Nikolaos Gkikas, John H. Richardson
Driver distraction is acknowledged as one of the key contributors to driver accidents (Treat, J.R., et al., 197747. Treat, J. R. 1977. Tri-level study of the causes of traffic accidents (No. DOT-HS-034-535-77-TAC(1)), Bloomington, IN: Institute for Research in Public Safety – Indiana University. View all references. Tri-level study of the causes of traffic accidents (No. DOT-HS-034‐535‐77-TAC(1)). Bloomington, IN: Institute for Research in Public Safety – Indiana University; Knipling, R.R., et al., 199328. Knipling, R. R. 1993. Assessment of IVHS countermeasures for collision avoidance: Rear-end crashes (No. DOT HS 807 995), Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. View all references. Assessment of IVHS countermeasures for collision avoidance: Rear-end crashes (No. DOT HS 807 995). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). As driving is mainly considered a visual task (Wierwille, W.W., 199353. Wierwille, W. W. 1993. “Visual and manual demands of in-car controls and displays”. In Automotive ergonomics, Edited by: Peakock, B. and Karwowski, W. 229–320. London: Taylor and Francis. View all references. Visual and manual demands of in-car controls and displays. In: B. Peakock and W. Karwowski, eds. Automotive ergonomics. London: Taylor and Francis, 229–320) the use of auditory channels for interacting with intelligent vehicle systems has been suggested as a solution to possible visual overload. This article presents two studies which assess the potential impact of distraction caused by verbal interaction on the driving task. The first study used a low-cost, game-based, simulation and the second study used the same experimental design with a generic driving simulation, the Lane Change Task (Mattes, S., 2003. The lane change task as a tool for driver distraction evaluation. In: H. Strasser, H. Rascher, and H. Bubb, eds. Quality of work and products in enterprises of the future. Stuttgart: Ergonomia Verlag, 57–60). Twenty-four young adults, 12 males and 12 females, participated in the first study and 12 young adults, 6 males and 6 females, in the second study. Road departures, time/speed and subjective workload were the measures in the first study, while the second study used mean course-departure and subjective workload as dependent variables. The results indicated that game-based simulation can be a solution when realism is needed but resources are limited, and suggested that concurrent verbal interaction may impair lateral vehicle control.