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Oops! Driver Distraction List Grows

The first driver distraction study from an automaker or a government agency has underlined without a question mark that the growing list of vehicle safety “impeders” has grown in the digital age.

Driver distraction study conducted by Dr. David Strayer at University of Utah
Cognitive distraction expert Dr. David Strayer and his research team at the University of Utah measured brainwaves, eye movement and other metrics to assess what happens to drivers’ mental workload when they attempt to do multiple things at once, building upon decades of research in the aerospace and automotive industries.

Sponsored by the  AAA Foundation and conducted by the University of Utah, the distraction study adds to the hazard of mobile phones eight tasks that subtly or discreetly deflect a driver’s mind from control of his or her vehicle.

The study’s director, Dr. David Strayer, listed the driver “distractors” as follows:

  • Doing nothing
  • Listening to an audio book
  • Listening to the radio
  • Conversing with a passenger
  • Calling a friend on a cellphone
  • Texting a friend on a hands-free phone (the most distracting of all safety distractors)

Published by  the Economist  Magazine (June 22-28 edition) the “safety dissipater” story bears the headline “keep your mind on the road.”

“Would the results be the same in a driverless car?”