Developmental trajectories of driving attention in adolescents: Preliminary findings from REACT

Academic Article


  • Objective: To characterize the trajectory of driving attention as a function of age and driving experience. Hypotheses. The rate of change in driving attention will be greater for 16- compared to 18-year-olds and those acquiring driving experience (vs. non-drivers). Age and driving experience will interact, with the effect of driving experience being stronger among 16- compared to 18-year-olds. Methods: In this longitudinal study, 190 adolescents were enrolled into 4 groups: (1) 16-year-olds and (2) 18-year-olds recruited within 2 weeks of obtaining a full driver’s license; (3) 16-year-olds and (4) 18-year-olds with no driving experience (no permit/license, no intention to obtain either over study period). At seven time points over 18 months, participants drove in a high-fidelity driving simulator integrated with eye tracking. Participants completed three experimental drives with three safety critical events and varying cognitive load conditions. Driving attention was measured by vertical and horizontal eye movements, number of glances, and glance length. A multilevel model using SAS PROC MIXED (SAS 9.4) will estimate the baseline intercept and slope of driving attention over time, with baseline age, driving experience, and their interaction serving as predictors of intercept and slope. Results: Preliminary analyses suggest driving attention changes over time as a function of age, driving experience, and across cognitive load conditions. Conclusions: Inattention is the primary contributor to motor vehicle crashes. It is critical to gain a clear understanding of how driving attention changes during adolescence, the riskiest developmental period for drivers. Results will reveal how driving impacts attention development through practice, providing a target for intervention.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stavrinos D; McManus B; Mrug S; Underhill A; Albright MG; Svancara A; Pawar P; Anthony T; Visscher K
  • Start Page

  • S163
  • End Page

  • S165
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • S1