Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-01-0784

Driver’s Attitudes Toward the Safety of In-Vehicle Navigation Systems 2009-01-0784

There is anecdotal evidence of drivers blindly following in-vehicle navigation system (IVNS) commands. IVNSs have shown to be distracting and mishaps with the device have entered popular culture as a source of comedy. Manufactures have reacted by warning drivers of the dangers involved in operating the devices and in some cases prevent address input while moving. While IVNSs are increasingly being used, do drivers perceive their use as distracting, potentially misleading, and thus dangerous?
We conducted an online survey of over 200 drivers to determine their attitudes toward safety while using these devices. This was followed by a series of interviews with an additional 20 drivers to provide more in-depth results. Drivers reported that distraction is not a big issue for them when using an IVNS, with only 8% reporting that the device was too distracting at times. Over 90% of respondents believe IVNSs do not have a harmful or potentially injurious effect and they are not wary of the device. They also placed more trust in directions from IVNSs than from people. There is a discrepancy between drives attitudes towards safety and potential dangers of using an IVNS. Drivers may be unaware of how distraction affects their driving. Some did not feel using an IVNS was dangerous at all because they are ultimately responsible for any incidents while driving.


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