News - Research on Driver Distraction Featured in Latest TRL Insight Report

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Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories

Research on Driver Distraction Featured in Latest TRL Insight Report

TRLThe Second in the new TRL Insight Report Series is now available. "Driver distraction from in-vehicle sources: a review of TRL research" (REF: INS002) by D Basacik and R Robbins, of the TRL Human Factors and Simulation Group. This Insight Report brings together the results of recent TRL studies of in-vehicle distraction.


Driver distraction is a significant factor in road accidents, but is neither completely understood nor documented. A scoping study brought together experts to agree key definitions related to observation-based, experimental and opinion-based research. Two driving simulator studies of mobile phone use and its effects on driving performance were carried out.

The first showed that reaction times were significantly increased when using a mobile phone compared with a conversation with a passenger, using in-vehicle controls and without any simultaneous tasks. The second showed that driving performance while using a mobile phone is worse than when driving while over the UK legal alcohol limit. The research that led to the development of the Occlusion Protocol for measuring visual demand is outlined. Finally the report identifies gaps in present knowledge and areas where more research is needed.

To find out more about this publication please visit or to purchase directly please call +44 (0)1344 328 038 and reference INS002.

For more information on TRL Reports please visit their website.


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