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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/16582

Title: Investigating the influence of working memory capacity when driving behavior is combined with cognitive load: An LCT study of young novice drivers
Authors: ROSS, Veerle
WANG, Weixin
WETS, Geert
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Distracted driving has received increasing attention in the literature due to potential adverse safety outcomes. An often posed solution to alleviate distraction while driving is hands-free technology. Interference by distraction can occur however at the sensory input (e.g., visual) level, but also at the cognitive level where hands-free technology induces working memory (WM) load. Active maintenance of goal-directed behavior in the presence of distraction depends on WM capacity (i.e., Lavie's Load theory) which implies that people with higher WM capacity are less susceptible to distractor interference. This study investigated the interaction between verbal WM load and WM capacity on driving performance to determine whether individuals with higher WM capacity were less affected by verbal WM load, leading to a smaller deterioration of driving performance. Driving performance of 46 young novice drivers (17–25 years-old) was measured with the lane change task (LCT). Participants drove without and with verbal WM load of increasing complexity (auditory-verbal response N-back task). Both visuospatial and verbal WM capacity were investigated. Dependent measures were mean deviation in the lane change path (MDEV), lane change initiation (LCI) and percentage of correct lane changes (PCL). Driving experience was included as a covariate. Performance on each dependent measure deteriorated with increasing verbal WM load. Meanwhile, higher WM capacity related to better LCT performance. Finally, for LCI and PCL, participants with higher verbal WM capacity were influenced less by verbal WM load. These findings entail that completely eliminating distraction is necessary to minimize crash risks among young novice drivers.
Notes: [Ross, Veerle; Jongen, Ellen M. M.; Wang, Weixin; Brijs, Tom; Brijs, Kris; Wets, Geert] Hasselt Univ, Transportat Res Inst IMOB, BE-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Brijs, Kris] XIOS Univ Coll, Dept Construct Engn, BE-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Ruiter, Robert A. C.] Maastricht Univ, Dept Work & Social Psychol, Fac Psychol & Neurosci, NL-6200 MD Maastricht, Netherlands.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/16582
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.06.032
ISI #: 000329599800043
ISSN: 0001-4575
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2015
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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