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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Industrial Engineering & Operations Research

Degree Type

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (M.S.I.E.O.R.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Distracted Driving, Novice Driver, External Distractions, Hazard Anticipation


Out-of-vehicle distractions were identified as contributing factors to about 29.4 % of all crashes that were reported between the years 1995 to 1999 (Stutts J. K., 2005; Stutts J. R., 2001).These crash statistics are from a decade ago. With the increase of cars, pedestrians, shops,vendors, billboards and signs over the last decade it can be safely assumed that the driving environment is more complex now and has greater potential for external driver distraction. Given this, it is important to know the effects of out-of-vehicle distraction on drivers’ ability to drive safely in their presence. With this in mind, a driving simulator study was conducted that compared younger novice and older experienced drivers on their ability to maintain their attention on the forward roadway, anticipate potential hazards and maintain vehicle control while performing an out-of-vehicle tasks. The results of the experiment indicate that both age groups took equally long glances away from the forward roadway at the out-of-vehicle task and that these long glances away from the forward roadway had a negative effects on the hazard anticipation performance of both age groups. In addition, these long glances away from the forward roadway did have a significantly negative impact on the lane maintainence ability of younger drivers as compared to their experienced counterparts but these long glances away from the forward roadway did not seem to affect the speed maintainence abilities of either group. No matter what the vehicle measures indicate, it is clear that both age groups are at elevated risk of crashing when they are attending to tasks that are outside the vehicle.


First Advisor

Donald L. Fisher

Included in

Ergonomics Commons