Conference Proceeding

Effectiveness of Bimodal Versus Unimodal Alerts for Distracted Drivers

  • Bridget A Lewis (George Mason University, Fairfax, VA)
  • Monica N Penaranda (George Mason University, Fairfax, VA)
  • Daniel M Roberts (George Mason University, Fairfax, VA)
  • Carryl L Baldwin (George Mason University, Fairfax, VA)


Twenty-two participants drove a simulated vehicle while engaged in a low or high working memory load task and responded to signals presented in auditory, visual and tactile modalities or their bimodal combinations by pressing on the brake. Signals were designed to be of low or high urgency in both unimodal and bimodal combinations. High urgency and bimodal signals were responded to faster than their low urgency and unimodal counterparts. Fewer bimodal signals were missed overall. This bimodal advantage was particularly significant relative to unimodal signals of low urgency in the high working memory load condition. Together these results indicate that hazard mapping can most effectively be obtained by designing with both the perceived urgency level of the signal and modal plurality in mind.

How to Cite:

Lewis, B. & Penaranda, M. & Roberts, D. & Baldwin, C., (2013) “Effectiveness of Bimodal Versus Unimodal Alerts for Distracted Drivers”, Driving Assessment Conference 7(2013), 376-382. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2013 the author(s)

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Published on
19 Jun 2013
Peer Reviewed