Is Talking to Your Car Dangerous? It Depends: Prologue to the Special Section

John D. Lee, Linda Ng Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cognitive distraction represents an important and growing traffic safety issue, particularly with the increasing computerization of cars. The target paper in this special section describes a protocol for assessing the distraction potential of information and entertainment systems. Cognitive distraction has specific relevance to the challenges facing driving safety but also reflects the more pervasive challenge of generalizing findings in the face of complex contextual and compensatory influences. Peer commentaries from five driving safety experts sketch paths forward in assessing the distraction potential of in-vehicle information technology. A simple, definitive statement regarding the risk of talking to your car is appealing, but the complexity of driver behavior may make such a statement unachievable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1297-1299
Number of pages3
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • attentional processes
  • cognition
  • crashes
  • decision making
  • distractions and interruptions
  • human error

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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