Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Human Factors Psychology

Committee Chair/Advisor

Tyrrell, Richard A

Committee Member

Brooks , Johnell O

Committee Member

Switzer , Fred S

Committee Member

Gugerty , Leo


Research suggests that driving while talking on a mobile telephone causes drivers not to respond to important events but has a smaller effect on their lane-keeping ability. This pattern is similar to research on night driving and suggests that problems associated with distraction may parallel those of night driving. Here, participants evaluated their driving performance before and after driving a simulated curvy road under different distraction conditions. In experiment 1 drivers failed to appreciate their distraction-induced performance decrements and did not recognize the dissociation between lane-keeping and identification. In Experiment 2 drivers did not adjust their speed to offset being distracted. Continuous feedback that steering skills are robust to distraction may prevent drivers from being aware that they are distracted.



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