STRIDE Study on the Influence of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder on Driver Performance

Dr. Michael Hunter of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Ga Tech) and Dr. Gregory Corso of Morehead State University are working on a STRIDE-funded project (Distracted Driving: It’s Not Always a Choice, 2013-062S) to identify the influence of roadway distractors on the performance of drivers with and without attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

According to Dr. Corso “It is often stated that ‘Distracted Driving is a Choice’ however, there is ample reason to believe that this may not always be the case, particularly when considering ADHD drivers.”

Drivers with ADHD may have reduced capabilities for maintaining focused attention, an issue that is often overlooked by standard distracted driver laws. It is known that drivers afflicted with attention deficit disorders receive more driving citations than other driver groups, and are up to four times more likely to be involved in a crash. The research study examines the effects of roadway distractors on the performance of drivers with attention deficit disorders using a fixed-based driving simulator. Researchers hope to identify differences between ADHD drivers and non-ADHD drivers with respect to driver reaction and response time, as well as more general driver performance and behavior metrics. (Image at the top shows a simulator scenario)

Simulator scenarios for this experiment were developed using the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) MiniSim®. Participants will drive through the scenarios and be asked to respond to particular events that occur at irregular intervals along the roadway. Examples of such events include work zones and accident scenes. The research team has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for experiment implementation, and is currently in the process of collecting data. It is expected that drivers with attention deficit disorders will demonstrate a higher level of distraction to the events that occur in close proximity to the roadway. Following experiment implementation, data analysis will be performed, and thus, results are forthcoming.

A full report will become available upon the completion of this study. For more information, contact Dr. Michael Hunter at michael.hunter@ce.gatech.edu