Eye-Tracking Technology and Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from the road. It greatly increases your chances of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. There are three main types of distracted driving — visual, manual, and cognitive. Eye-tracking technology has provided valuable insights into the effects of non-driving related tasks, lane-keeping performance, and more.
At Gazepoint, we provide a number of different hardware and software packages to ensure that you can find the visual tracking products you need. From academics and medical research to UX and corporate research and development, we have the eye-tracking software you need. Explore the possible applications of visual tracking in your field, and contact us to get started today.
The first type of distraction, and one of the most common, is visual distraction. This is when a driver takes their eyes, and their focus, off the road. Things that can take the driver’s focus and eyes off the road, even for a split second, include:
- Adjusting devices in the vehicle like a radio or GPS
- Looking to view a new text message or to see who is calling
- Looking around instead of ahead
- Looking at a passenger
All of these factors keep the driver from looking where they need to be to ensure safe driving.
Manual distractions occur when the driver removes their hands from the steering wheel. This type of distraction may or may not be combined with visual distractions. Drivers might remove one or both of their hands from the steering wheel for a variety of reasons, including:
- Adjusting the radio or thermostat
- Removing a coat
- Brushing hair or applying makeup
- Getting something from a purse or wallet
- Answering a call or sending a text
Texting while driving poses one of the biggest potentials for distraction while driving. It is mainly due to the manual distraction, but it can also include visual distraction and cognitive distraction.
Cognitive distracted driving is less obvious as it happens when the driver simply shifts their mind and focus from the act of driving to something else. There are a number of things that can cause cognitive distraction, including:
- Talking to another passenger
- Dealing with emotional stress
- Listening to a podcast or audio book
- Having a conversation on a hands-free device
- Preoccupation with other issues
Cognitive distractions prevent drivers from being in the right state of mind when driving, which means that your reaction time and ability to drive safely will be impaired.
Teens and Distracted Driving
Generally speaking, teenagers have a bad reputation for being careless drivers. For those who struggle with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), the chances of them being involved in or causing a car accident are even higher. Throw texting while driving into the mix, and the problem of distracted driving grows exponentially. Eye-tracking technology, however, can provide helpful solutions so that teenagers can drive more safely. Collision-avoidance warnings and audible corrections are just two of the solutions that visual tracking offers. For teens who struggle with focusing on driving, they can receive a warning sound when they look away from the road for more than two seconds. Visual tracking continues to offer exciting new solutions and applications for those seeking to reduce the number of distracted-driving accidents.
If you want to pursue your own study of distracted driving, Gazepoint is here to help. We offer research-grade technology at a consumer price point to make eye tracking – and the innovations it can power – accessible to everyone. Explore our hardware and software packages today, and place your order to get started!