Research Reports - The effects of driver distraction for individuals with traumatic brain injuries

Hum Factors. 2015 Jul 17

Neyens DM(1), Boyle LN(2), Schultheis MT(3)

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of secondary tasks
on the driving performance of individuals with mild traumatic brain injuries
(TBIs).
BACKGROUND: Studies suggest detrimental impacts of driving with TBI or while
distracted but the impact of driver distraction on TBI drivers is not well
documented.
METHOD: Bayesian regression models were used to estimate the effect of relatively
simple secondary tasks on driving performance of TBI and healthy control (HC)
drivers. A driving simulator was used to develop prior distribution of task
effects on driving performance for HCs. An on-road study was conducted with TBI
and HC drivers to generate effect estimates for the posterior distributions. The
Bayesian models were also compared to frequentist models.
RESULTS: During a coin-sorting task, all drivers exhibited larger maximum lateral
acceleration and larger standard deviation of speed than in a baseline driving
segment. There were no significant driving performance differences between the
TBI and the HC drivers during the tasks. Across all tasks, TBI drivers spent more
time looking at the tasks and made more frequent glances toward the tasks.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings show that even drivers with mild TBI have significantly
longer and more glances toward the tasks compared to the HCs.
APPLICATION: This study demonstrates a Bayesian approach and how the results
differ from frequentist statistics. Using prior distributions in a Bayesian model
helps account for the probabilities associated with otherwise unknown parameters.
This method strengthens the Bayesian parameter estimates compared to that of a
frequentist model.

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