Conference Proceeding

The Dimensions of Driver Performance during Secondary Manual Tasks

  • Richard A Young (General Motors, Warren, MI)
  • Kenneth S Angell (General Motors, Warren, MI)


This analysis identified the underlying dimensions of driver performance using data obtained from drivers engaged in secondary manual tasks. Randomly chosen subjects balanced for age and gender used one of five advanced navigation and communication systems while driving on a closed roadway. Fifteen driver performance variables were averaged and standardized across subjects for 79 tasks. There were high correlations between all variables. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) found that the vector of loadings defining the first principal component (PC1) was positive for all 15 variables, accounting for 61 percent of the total variation across all tasks. It is interpreted as overall driver demand. PC2 loaded with one sign on event detection and response variables, but opposing sign on visual-manual workload variables. It identified tasks making drivers more inattentive to outside events than expected, given a task’s visual-manual workload, and accounted for 17 percent of total variation. It is interpreted as low-workloadbut-high-inattentiveness. PC3 had loadings of opposing sign for peripheral vs. central event variables (5 percent of total variation). It is interpreted as peripheral insensitivity. The first three components together accounted for 83 percent of total variation, which is deemed substantial. Thus most of the information available through the 15 original variables can be summarized by only three PC variables. Because the vectors of loadings defining the components are orthogonal to each other as defined by PCA, no single variable by itself can capture all the important variations in driver performance during secondary manual tasks. A multivariate design and analysis is required.

How to Cite:

Young, R. & Angell, K., (2003) “The Dimensions of Driver Performance during Secondary Manual Tasks”, Driving Assessment Conference 2(2003), 98-112. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2003 the authors

Download pdf
View PDF



Published on
23 Jul 2003
Peer Reviewed