Title page for ETD etd-02112010-103206

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Howard III, Edwin Henry
Author's Email Address edhoward@vt.edu
URN etd-02112010-103206
Title Examining the Effect of Driving Experience on Teenage Driving Ability with Secondary Tasks
Degree Master of Science
Department Industrial and Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lee, Suzanne E. Committee Co-Chair
Winchester, Woodrow W. III Committee Co-Chair
Kleiner, Brian M. Committee Member
  • teenage driver
  • distracted driving
  • secondary task
  • driving experience
Date of Defense 2010-01-29
Availability unrestricted
This research examined the relationship between experience and driving performance with secondary tasks. Data were collected from 42 teenage drivers and their parents using an instrumented vehicle for two one hour test track sessions spaced 12 months apart. For part of the sessions, participants followed a lead vehicle which allowed for range data to be collected.

Teenage and experienced drivers’ driving were compared for cell phone and odometer tasks. Variables such as Speed, Range to Forward Vehicle, and Driving-Related Eyeglance percentages were all analyzed utilizing ANOVA. Post-hoc analysis on continuous data was performed using a Tukey HSD test. Lane Deviations were examined using Chi-Square analyses.

Experienced drivers drove faster overall than teenage drivers. Teenage drivers drove faster in the 12 month session than the first session. No significant effects were found for Speed Variance, Range Variance, or Lane Deviations. Experienced drivers had a higher percentage of driving-related glances than teenage drivers. For the odometer task, teenage drivers were found to follow further behind a lead vehicle than adults.

Driving experience was believed to have an effect on driver eyeglance patterns due to increased development of attentional control resulting in better switching between the task and the driving environment. Experienced drivers likely drove faster due to increased confidence in their driving ability. This research supports current GDL cell phone restrictions. A drivers’ education lesson plan framework was developed to address these differences. Future research should focus on further refining GDL legislation to address the cognitive differences between teenage and experienced drivers.

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