Towards an understanding of driver inattention: Taxonomy and theory

Regan, M. A., and Strayer, D. L.
National Institutes of Health

The objective of this US study was to review an existing taxonomy for driver inattention in which driver distraction was one of several processes that resulted in driver inattention. This was undertaken in light of findings from more recent research on this topic in order to identify improvements to the classification of distractions to make these terms more useful in relation to coding crash and critical incident data. As part of this study, researchers aimed to characterize, theoretically, the processes within each category of the original taxonomy that were believed to contribute to driver inattention.

Based on the results of this study, authors proposed ways to improve the original taxonomy used to describe these incidents to make it more useful for classifying and coding crash data. Future research needs were also described which included work to validate the original taxonomy, and efforts to increase understanding of the effects of different types of inattention on driving performance, crash type and crash risk. Initiatives to revise and realign crash and incident investigation protocols to ensure robust and consistent information are collected about the role of inattention in all crash types was also a critical need.

Regan, M. A., & Strayer, D. L. (2014). Towards an understanding of driver inattention: taxonomy and theory. Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine, 58, 5.