Reading, typing, and driving: How interactions with in-vehicle systems degrade driving performance

Yiyun Peng, Linda Ng Boyle, John D. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In-vehicle information systems (IVISs) can assist drivers by increasing both safety and efficiency. However, these systems may also divert drivers' attention away from the forward road and cause them to become distracted. This study examined the effect of entering and reading text while driving. Two constructs were manipulated as part of the study: text length and presence of task-irrelevant text. A driving simulator study was conducted with 28 drivers across four age groups. The findings suggest that driving performance is worse with increased task completion time. When task completion time was included as a covariate in the analytical models, text entry tasks with as few as four letters was shown to significantly degrade drivers' longitudinal and lateral control compared to driving without any IVIS tasks. The outcomes suggests that shortening the time required for drivers to complete any text entry or reading tasks could potentially reduce the effect of distraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-191
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Issue numberPA
StatePublished - Nov 2014


  • Distraction
  • Driver performance
  • In-vehicle information systems (IVISs)
  • Texting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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