Safety implications of providing real-time feedback to distracted drivers

Birsen Donmez, Linda Ng Boyle, John D. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A driving simulator study was conducted to assess whether real-time feedback on a driver's state can influence the driver's interaction with in-vehicle information systems (IVIS). Previous studies have shown that IVIS tasks can undermine driver safety by increasing driver distraction. Thus, mitigating driver distraction using a feedback mechanism appears promising. This study was designed to test real-time feedback that alerts drivers based on their off-road eye glances. Feedback was displayed in two display locations (vehicle-centered, and IVIS-centered) to 16 young and 13 middle-aged drivers. Distraction was observed as problematic for both age groups with delayed responses to a lead vehicle-braking event as indicated by delayed accelerator releases. Significant benefits were not observed for braking and steering behavior for this experiment, but there was a significant change in drivers' interaction with IVIS. When given feedback on their distracted state, drivers looked at the in-vehicle display less frequently regardless of where feedback was displayed in the vehicle. This indicates that real-time feedback based on the driver state can positively alter driver's engagement in distracting activities, helping them attend better to the roadway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-590
Number of pages10
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Driver distraction
  • Driving simulator
  • Eye movements
  • In-vehicle information systems
  • Real-time feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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