Location

Olympic Valley — Lake Tahoe, California

Date

29-6-2011

Session

Session 6 – Lectures Attention & Distraction

Abstract

During distracted driving, people commonly alternate or interleaveattention between driving and another task. One factor that influences taskinterleaving is task structure. Specifically, people tend to switch between tasks atsub-tasks boundaries. Uncertainty about the roadway environment during glancesaway from the road, however, may play a larger role in shaping task interleavingstrategies during distracted driving. The purpose of this study was to examine taskinterleaving strategies when drivers completed a distracting task of various subtasksizes. Participants entered phone numbers, modified zip codes, or digitstrings while performing a lane-keeping task. In general, the time between buttonpresses in the secondary task was significantly greater between sub-tasks thanwithin sub-tasks. However, as sub-tasks became larger drivers switched morefrequently within sub-tasks than between sub-tasks. Additionally, participants’ didnot change their visual sampling strategies as the size of sub-tasks increased.Thus, uncertainty influenced decisions to switch between two interleaved tasks inthe driving environment more than sub-task boundaries.

Rights

Copyright © 2011 the author(s)

DC Citation

Proceedings of the Sixth International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design, June 27-30, 2011, Olympic Valley — Lake Tahoe, California. Iowa City, IA: Public Policy Center, University of Iowa, 2011: 321-328.

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Jun 29th, 12:00 AM

How Do Task Structure and Uncertainty Influence Task-Interleaving Strategies
 During Distracted Driving?

Olympic Valley — Lake Tahoe, California

During distracted driving, people commonly alternate or interleaveattention between driving and another task. One factor that influences taskinterleaving is task structure. Specifically, people tend to switch between tasks atsub-tasks boundaries. Uncertainty about the roadway environment during glancesaway from the road, however, may play a larger role in shaping task interleavingstrategies during distracted driving. The purpose of this study was to examine taskinterleaving strategies when drivers completed a distracting task of various subtasksizes. Participants entered phone numbers, modified zip codes, or digitstrings while performing a lane-keeping task. In general, the time between buttonpresses in the secondary task was significantly greater between sub-tasks thanwithin sub-tasks. However, as sub-tasks became larger drivers switched morefrequently within sub-tasks than between sub-tasks. Additionally, participants’ didnot change their visual sampling strategies as the size of sub-tasks increased.Thus, uncertainty influenced decisions to switch between two interleaved tasks inthe driving environment more than sub-task boundaries.