The Influence of Passenger-Driver Interaction on Young Drivers
Proceedings of the 6th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design : driving assessment 2011
The mechanisms for young drivers being at increased risk of collision with peer aged passengers in the car are not well understood. Most studies infer a link between passenger distraction and the number of passengers, but a causal link has not been previously shown. A group of young drivers with their full Ontario, Canada G license were tested in a simulated driving environment in three conditions. The first condition involved a peer aged female passenger who asked the driver questions as they
... questions as they navigated a course. The second condition involved the same passenger sitting silently in the passenger seat while the driver navigated a course. The third condition involved the passenger being absent, and the driver was alone in the car while they navigated a course. Speed and way finding behaviours were found to deteriorate in the first condition compared to the other two, and standard deviation of lane position and reaction times were found to improve in the first condition compared to the other two, indicating that the drivers were moving their eyes around the environment less with conversation. This highlights the importance of reducing passenger distractions for younger drivers. OBJECTIVES Young drivers are at increased risk of injury and fatality when there are peer aged passengers in the car with them. Although this is a well documented phenomenon, the reasons for these findings are inferred, not studied. The purpose of this research is to determine to what extent passenger distraction via conversation affects driving performance. Our way finding measure is a new measure used in this context.