Drivers' attitudes toward imperfect distraction mitigation strategies

Birsen Donmez, Linda Ng Boyle, John D. Lee, Daniel V. McGehee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies were conducted to assess driver acceptance of and trust in distraction mitigation strategies. Previous studies have shown that in-vehicle tasks undermine driver safety, and that there is a need for strategies to reduce the effects of in-vehicle distractions. Trust and acceptance of such strategies strongly influence their effectiveness. Different strategies intended to reduce distraction were categorized in a taxonomy. Focus groups were conducted to help refine this taxonomy and explore driver acceptance issues related to these strategies. A driving simulator experiment was then conducted using two of the strategies: an advising strategy that warns drivers of potential dangers and a locking strategy that prevents the driver from continuing a distracting task. These strategies were presented to 16 middle-aged and 12 older drivers in two modes (auditory, visual) with two levels of adaptation (true, false). Older drivers accepted and trusted the strategies more than middle-aged drivers. Regardless of age, all drivers preferred strategies that provided alerts in a visual mode rather than an auditory mode. When the system falsely adapted to the road situation, trust in the strategies declined. The findings show that display modality has a strong effect on driver acceptance and trust, and that older drivers are more trusting and accepting of distraction mitigation technology even when it operates imperfectly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-398
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Acceptance
  • Age
  • Driver distraction
  • System adaptation
  • System reliability
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology


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