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      An Empirical Investigation into Dual-Task Trade-offs while Driving and Dialing


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      Proceedings of HCI 2007 The 21st British HCI Group Annual Conference University of Lancaster, UK (HCI)

      British HCI Group Annual Conference

      3 - 7 September 2007



            Engaging in a secondary task, such as dialing a cell phone, while driving a car has been found to have a deleterious effect on driver performance. A point often overlooked though is that people can potentially vary the extent to which these two tasks are interleaved (i.e., attention can be returned to driving more or less often while dialing). To investigate this idea of strategic variability in multitasking behavior, an experiment was conducted in a driving simulator in which participants were instructed to focus on dialing as quickly as possible or on steering as safely as possible. It was found that participants drove more safely when encouraged to do so. However, driving safely necessarily brought about an increase in the total time to complete the dialing task because of frequent task interleaving. In contrast, there was a significant increase in the lateral deviation of the car from the lane centre when participants were encouraged to complete the dialing task as quickly as possible. These results suggest that contrary to existing advice, the total time that the driver is distracted is less important to safety than the strategy used for interleaving secondary and primary tasks. In particular, there may be value in designing mobile devices that facilitate short bursts of interaction for in-car use because allowing drivers to make additional glances back to the road while actively working on a concurrent secondary task might help to elevate some of the effects of distracted driving.


            Author and article information

            September 2007
            September 2007
            : 1-4
            [0001]Department of Computer Science

            Drexel University

            Philadelphia, PA 19140 USA
            [0002]Manchester Business School

            University of Manchester

            Manchester, M15 6PB UK
            © Duncan P. Brumby et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of HCI 2007 The 21st British HCI Group Annual Conference University of Lancaster, UK

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Proceedings of HCI 2007 The 21st British HCI Group Annual Conference University of Lancaster, UK
            Lancaster, UK
            3 - 7 September 2007
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            British HCI Group Annual Conference
            Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Electronic Workshops in Computing


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