Driver Distraction from Electronic Devices: Insights and Implications

Although many have an idea of what the term “driver distraction” means, there is no common definition within the research community. Additionally, there are many studies that have investigated the topic, but with varying and sometimes conflicting results. What should be made of these discrepancies?

This four-hour web seminar will provide an overview of driver distraction (predominantly electronic devices): the problem; how to define it; the current state of research and how to critically evaluate that research to make informed decisions; and the effectiveness of state laws and fleet policies to reduce it. The conclusion of the course will summarize strategies, techniques, and technologies that have been shown to be effective in reducing distracted driving from electronic devices.

This course has been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) for 4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Upon completion of this seminar, accredited reconstructionists should mail a copy of their course certificate and the $5 student CEU fee to ACTAR, PO Box 1493, North Platte, NE 69103.

What Will You Learn

By connecting with this web seminar, you will be able to:
  • Weigh the extent of the driver distraction problem
  • Define driver distraction
  • Critically examine the current state of driver distraction research
  • Identify the strengths and limitations of various research approaches that assess driver distraction from electronic devices
  • Recognize the difference between various forms of distraction (cognitive, auditory, visual, manual)
  • Assess the effectiveness of policy efforts to reduce driver distraction from electronic devices
  • Explain that all cell phone “tasks” do not have equal risk
  • Determine effective strategies, techniques, and technologies for minimizing distracted driving

Is This Course For You

This web seminar is intended for all those interested in being equipped to critically examine the current state of research in driver distraction. Although the course is aimed at driver distraction from electronic devices, the results pertain to driver distraction in general. Vehicle manufacturers, OEMs, and cell phone providers and manufacturers will be able to use the information presented in this web seminar to develop engineering solutions in this area. Government and driving advocate officials will be able to use the information presented in this course to design and deliver informed policy decisions regarding driver distraction. Transportation safety researchers will learn about the latest research in this area as well as future research needs.

Materials Provided

This data is not available at this time

Course Requirements

*Global toll-free telephone numbers are provided for many countries outside the U.S., but are limited to those on the WebEx call-in toll-free number list. Check here to see if your country has a global call-in toll free telephone number for this web seminar. If your country is not listed, you may still connect using the US/Canada Call-in toll number or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Although WebEx Training Manager will automatically launch when you join the web seminar, you or your system administrator are encouraged to download the plug-in in advance to help ensure successful setup. Click here, then follow the onscreen instructions.


Session 1
  • Overview of Driver Distraction Problem
    • Statistics (crashes, injuries, fatalities, monetary burden)
  • Forms of Distraction
    • Cognitive
    • Visual
    • Auditory
    • Manual
    • Definition of Driver Distraction
    • Overview of Methods to Assess Driver Distraction
      • Epidemiological
      • Empirical
      • Naturalistic
Session 2
  • Possible Reasons for Discrepancies
    • Driver Choice
    • Self-regulation
    • Arousal
  • Effectiveness of Policy Efforts to Reduce Driver Distraction from Electronic Devices
  • Research Needs/Next Steps
  • Minimizing Distracted Driving from Electronic Devices (what works, what shows promise, what doesn't work)
  • Summary