Conference Proceeding

Awareness of Performance Decrements Due to Distraction in Younger and Older Drivers

Authors: , ,


Although many studies have documented the performance decrements associated with driver distractions, few have examined drivers’ awareness of these distraction effects. The current study purports to measure how wellcalibrated drivers are with respect to their own performance when distracted. Forty drivers completed a series of tasks on a hand-held or hands-free cell phone while driving an instrumented vehicle around a closed test track. Subjective estimates of performance decrements were recorded and compared to actual decrements observed on multiple measures of driving performance. Although their driving performance suffered in dual-task conditions, drivers were generally not well-calibrated to the magnitude of the distraction effects (r = -.38 to .16). In some cases, estimates of distraction were opposite of the observed effects (i.e., smaller estimates of distraction corresponded to larger performance deficits). There were some age and gender differences. We discuss the implications of these findings for potential mitigation strategies for distracted driving.


How to Cite: Horrey, W. , Lesch, J. & Garabet, A. (2007) “Awareness of Performance Decrements Due to Distraction in Younger and Older Drivers”, Driving Assessment Conference. 4(2007). doi: