Changes over 12 months in eye glances during secondary task engagement among novice drivers

Fearghal O'Brien, Sheila G. Klauer, Johnathon P Ehsani, Bruce G. Simons-Morton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

During their first year of driving, crash rates among novice drivers are very high but decline rapidly. However, it is not clear what skills or knowledge they are acquiring in this period. Secondary task engagement while driving is a contributing factor to many traffic collisions and some of the elevated crash risk among novices could be explained by greater prevalence or longer periods of eyes off the road while engaging in these non-driving tasks. The current study looked at the eye glances of novice teen drivers engaging in secondary tasks on a test track at 0 and 12 months of licensure and compared their performance with their parents. Novices improved from 0 to 12 months on their longest single glance off the forward roadway and total percentage of time for eyes off the forward roadway, but parents remained stable. Compared with their parents, the longest single glance off the forward roadway was longer for novices at 0 months, but by 12 months there was no difference between the groups. However, for total percentage of time for eyes off the forward roadway, novices performed the same as their parents at 0 months and actually had shorter times at 12 months. These findings could reflect the combined development of driving skills over 12 months and the relative experience that modern teenagers have with portable electronic devices. The results suggest that novice drivers are particularly poor at engaging with secondary tasks while driving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume93
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Experience
  • Eye glances
  • Secondary task engagement
  • Test track
  • Young novice drivers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Law

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