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Journal Article


Petzoldt T, Krems JF. Appl. Ergon. 2014; 45(4): 1218-1224.


Technische Universit├Ąt Chemnitz, 09107 Chemnitz, Germany.


(Copyright © 2014, Elsevier Publishing)






The Lane Change Task (LCT) is an established method to assess driver distraction caused by secondary tasks. In the LCT ISO standard, "course following and maneuvering" and "event detection" are mentioned as central task properties. Especially event detection seems to be a reasonable feature, as research suggests that distraction has profound effects on drivers' reactions to sudden, unexpected events. However, closer inspection of the LCT reveals that the events to be detected (lane change signs) and the required response are highly predictable. To investigate how the LCT's distraction assessment of secondary tasks might change if lane change events and responses were less predictable, we implemented three different versions of the LCT - an "original" one, a second one with lowered predictability of event position, and a third one with lowered predictability of event position and response. We tested each of these implementations with the same set of visual and cognitive secondary tasks of varying demand. The results showed that a decrease in predictability resulted in overall degraded performance in the LCT when using the basic lane change model for analysis. However, all secondary task conditions suffered equally. No differential effects were found. We conclude that although an ISO conforming implementation of the LCT might not be excessively valid regarding its depiction of safety relevant events, the results obtained are nevertheless comparable to what would be found in settings of higher validity.

Keywords: Driver distraction;

Language: en


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