Imperfect in-vehicle collision avoidance warning systems can aid distracted drivers

Masha Maltz, David Shinar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a type of in-vehicle collision avoidance warning system (IVCAWS) under conditions of driver distraction. Forty-three participants responded to an imperfect warning system while simultaneously driving a simulator and performing a visual/cognitive task. The major concerns were whether drivers would be more inclined to rely on such a system when they are distracted by subsidiary tasks, and if this reliance would be counterproductive. We found that distracted drivers responded, by increasing their temporal headway, to the less reliable system's alarms, but the warning system at the higher reliability levels led to over reliance and ultimately to maintaining shorter headways. This study has practical implications for the use of warning systems as driving aids for drivers. Although aids may be helpful and, in many cases, the more reliable aid is preferable, in the case of distraction, drivers may misuse the aid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-357
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Alarms
  • Automated aids
  • Collision avoidance
  • Driver behavior
  • Driver workload
  • Driving simulator
  • Dual task
  • Temporal headway
  • Traffic safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology


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