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Fatigue and coping with driver distraction.

Williamson, A, Faulks, I, Regan, M, Stevenson, M, Brown, J, Porter, A, Irwin, J D

Driver Risk & Behaviour

ACRS conference 2005

Distraction while driving can divert attention away from the driving task and can, as a consequence, have irretrievable effects on driving performance. Driving is a task that particularly requires selective attention from moment to moment as well as sustained attention over the duration of a drive. Factors, such as fatigue, that reduce the capacity to pay attention to the driving task can seriously impair driving performance. In fact, fatigue can be viewed as an internal source of driver distraction due to its effects on attention. On the other hand, some effects of fatigue suggest that tired drivers may be less affected by distraction. This presentation will review the findings of research on the effects of fatigue on performance, including the effects on vision, reaction speed, selective and sustained attention and decision-making. The implications of these findings for driving and for coping with distraction while driving will be discussed.