Lee Says Technology Can Enhance, Not Just Diminish, Driving Attention

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

University of Iowa News Release

In an essay on technology and driving that appears in the Perspectives section of the April 17 issue of the journal Science, John D. Lee, UI College of Engineering professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, writes that technology can be a boon or a bane to drivers, depending upon how it is used.

Cell phone usage is one example of technology that can distract drivers, says Lee, an expert on driver distraction and research using driving simulators. But research suggests that electronic warning systems can alert drivers to direct their attention away from distractions and back to the roadway if they have been looking away from the road for too long a period of time. Also, a recent UI-led study that videotaped teenaged drivers behind the wheel found a dramatic and lasting -- even six weeks later -- decrease in risky driving behavior after the teens were shown videos of their at-risk driving.

For the complete article, go to www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/324/5925/344.