Effect of driving experience on visual behavior and driving performance under different driving conditions

Larry B. Nabatilan, Fereydoun Aghazadeh, Ashish D. Nimbarte, Craig C. Harvey, Suman K. Chowdhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Drivers' ability to perform the primary task of driving a vehicle and be able to handle the interference caused by the secondary tasks such as the use of cell phone is greatly influenced by their driving experience. In this study, thirty-eight drivers with different levels of driving experience were studied to evaluate their driving performance during simple versus complex driving tasks performed with and without cell phone. The driving performance was evaluated by studying the visual behavior of the drivers using eye-tracking systems, driving error, and subjective workload assessment tool. Results demonstrate that the novice drivers fixated more on the dashboard area (36. 33%) than on the front and center view (14. 33%). On the other hand, the experienced drivers fixated more on the front and center (39. 5%) as compared to the dashboard area (12%). Same trend was observed for complex driving but with lower percentage of total fixations than the simple driving conditions. The visual distraction caused by secondary task of cell phone use contributes to the decline in driving performance. Although all drivers reported higher workloads during driving while using cell phones and committed more driving errors, the errors were comparatively lower for experienced drivers than the inexperienced drivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalCognition, Technology and Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Cell phone
  • Driving errors
  • Driving experience
  • Eye tracking
  • Visual fixation


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