Emerging Technology and Distracted Driving: From the Model T to the Model S

Distracted driving is increasingly recognized as a significant source of injuries and fatalities on the roadway. And concern is only growing as more and more wireless devices are being brought into / integrated with vehicles.

Working with AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, David Strayer, Ph.D., and his research team at the University of Utah developed, validated, and applied a metric of distraction associated with the diversion of attention from driving. In their studies, they show that distraction potential can be reliably measured. They also demonstrate that cognitive workload varies based on the secondary task being performed, and that many activities – particularly complex interactions in the vehicle – are associated with surprisingly high levels of mental workload.

Listen as Dr. Strayer explains why using new vehicle technology may have unintended consequences that adversely affect driver safety.

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David Strayer, Ph.D.
University of Utah

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Dr. David Strayer is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah and Director for the Center for the Prevention of Distracted Driving. He received his Masters degree in Experimental Psychology from Eastern Washington University and his PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Afterward, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked briefly as a Member of Technical Staff at GTE Laboratories before joining the faculty at the University of Utah. David has received many awards and honors during his career, including being named a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Sciences, receiving the Interdiscipliniary Teaching Grand Award from the Psychology of Traffic, and being awarded the University of Utah Distinguished Scolarly and Creative Research Award.

Dr. Strayer’s research has been featured among Discover Magazine’s 100 Top Science Stories in 2003 and 2005. He has been a featured guest with Oprah and Dr. Oz, and has given briefings to the US House and Senate on distracted driving issues.