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Joanne Wood, Alex Chaparro, Louise Hickson, Nick Thyer, Philippa Carter, Julie Hancock, Adrene Hoe, Ivy Le, Louisa Sahetapy, Floravel Ybarzabal; The Effect of Auditory and Visual Distracters on the Useful Field of View: Implications for the Driving Task. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(10):4646-4650. doi: 10.1167/iovs.06-0306.
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purpose. The driving environment is becoming increasingly complex, including both visual and auditory distractions within the in-vehicle and external driving environments. This study was designed to investigate the effect of visual and auditory distractions on a performance measure that has been shown to be related to driving safety, the useful field of view.
methods. A laboratory study recorded the useful field of view in 28 young visually normal adults (mean 22.6 ± 2.2 years). The useful field of view was measured in the presence and absence of visual distracters (of the same angular subtense as the target) and with three levels of auditory distraction (none, listening only, listening and responding).
results. Central errors increased significantly (P < 0.05) in the presence of auditory but not visual distracters, while peripheral errors increased in the presence of both visual and auditory distracters. Peripheral errors increased with eccentricity and were greatest in the inferior region in the presence of distracters.
conclusions. Visual and auditory distracters reduce the extent of the useful field of view, and these effects are exacerbated in inferior and peripheral locations. This result has significant ramifications for road safety in an increasingly complex in-vehicle and driving environment.
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