Influence of Driver’s Career and Secondary Cognitive Task on Visual Search Behavior in Driving: A Dual-Task Paradigm


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of driving career and secondary cognitive task on dual-tasking performances and visual search behavior. Twenty male participants were grouped in the following two groups: the experienced group and the novice group. All participants were asked to drive at a speed of 120 km/h while keeping to a lane on the highway and engaging with the following three levels of secondary cognitive task: no cognitive task, easy level, and hard level. The results showed significantly lower correct response rates in the dual task condition (driving + cognitive task) than in the driving only task condition. Novice drivers showed greater decrements in cognitive task performance, particularly in the dual task condition, as compared to the experienced drivers. The total fixation duration decreased as the level of the secondary task increased in difficulty. Experienced drivers showed significantly longer fixation duration on the far-area of the road, and also on specific areas, whereas novice drivers fixated longer on the near-area of the road. In conclusion, we suggest that the importance of perceptual skills in driving should be emphasized and effective training methods need to be applied, especially among high-risk drivers.

Share and Cite:

Lee, H. , Park, S. , Lim, J. , Chang, S. , Ji, J. , Lee, S. and Lee, J. (2015) Influence of Driver’s Career and Secondary Cognitive Task on Visual Search Behavior in Driving: A Dual-Task Paradigm. Advances in Physical Education, 5, 245-254. doi: 10.4236/ape.2015.54029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Abernethy, B. (2001). Attention. In R. N. Singer, H. A. Hausenblas, & C. M. Janelle (Eds.), Handbook of Sport Psychology (2nd ed., pp. 53-85). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
[2] Beilock, S. L., Bertenthal, B. I., Mccoy, A. M., & Carr, T. H. (2004). Haste Does Not Always Make Waste: Expertise, Direction of Attention, and Speed versus Accuracy in Performing Sensorimotor Skills. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 11, 373-379.
[3] Bloem, B. R., Grimbergen, Y. A. M., van Dijk, J. G., & Munneke, M. (2006). The “Posture Second” Strategy: A Review of Wrong Priorities in Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 248, 196-204.
[4] Carrasco, M., Williams, P. E., & Yeshurun, Y. (2002). Covert Attention Increases Spatial Resolution with or without Masks: Support for Signal Enhancement. Journal of Vision, 2, 467-479.
[5] Chapman, P. R., Underwood, G, & Roberts, K. (2002). Visual Search Patterns in Trained and Untrained Novice Drivers. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behavior, 5, 157-167.
[6] Chapman, P. R., & Underwood, G. (1998). Visual Search of Driving Situation: Danger and Experience. Perception, 27, 951-964.
[7] Christman, S. D., & Niebauer, C. L. (1997). The Relation between Left-Right and Upper-Lower Visual Field Asymmetries: (Or: What Goes up Goes Right, While What’s Left Lays Low). Advances in Psychology, 123, 263-296.
[8] Consiglio, W., Driscoll, P., Witte, M., & Berg, W. P. (2003). Effects of Telephone Conversations and other Potential Interference on Reaction Time in a Braking Response. Accidental Analysis and Prevention, 35, 495-500.
[9] Duchowski, A. T. (2007). Eye Tracking Methodology: Theory and Practice (2nd ed.). London: Springer.
[10] Gable, T. M., Walker, B. N., & Moses, H. R. (2012). Effects of Audio Cues for a Song Searching Task on Cell Phone While Driving. Adjunct Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications, Portsmouth, 17-19 October 2012, 28-29.
[11] Hamid, S. N., Stankiewicz, B., & Hayhoe, M. (2010). Gaze Patterns in Navigation: Encoding Information in Large-Scale Environment. Journal of Vision, 10, 1-11.
[12] Harbluk, J. L., Noy, Y. I., Trbovich, P. L., & Eizenman, M. (2007). An On-Road Assessment of Cognitive Distraction: Impacts on Drivers’ Visual Performance. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 39, 372-379.
[13] He, S., Cavanagh, P., & Intriligator, J. (1997). Attentional Resolution. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 1, 115-121.
[14] Henderson, J. M. (2003). Human Gaze Control during Real-World Scene Perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 498- 504.
[15] Horberry, T., Anderson, J., Regan, M. A., Triggs, T. J., & Brown, J. (2006). Driver Distraction: The Effects of Concurrent In-Vehicle Tasks, Road Environment Complexity and Age on Driving Performance. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 38, 185-191.
[16] Klauer, S. G. (2006). The Impact of Driver Inattention in Near-Crash/Crash Risk: An Analysis Using the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study Data. Report No. DOT HS 810 594. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
[17] Konstantopoulos, P., Chapman, P., & Crundall, D. (2010). Driver’s Visual Attention as a Function of Driving Experience and Visibility. Using a Driving Simulator to Explore Driver’s Eye Movements in Day, Night and Rain Driving. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 42, 827-834.
[18] Krampe, R. T., Schaefer, S., Lindenberger, U., & Baltes, P. B. (2011). Lifespan Changes in Multi-Tasking: Concurrent Walking and Memory Search in Children, Young, and Older Adults. Gait & Posture, 33, 401-405.
[19] Kunar, M. A., Carter, R., Cohen, M., & Horowitz, T. S. (2008). Telephone Conversation Impairs Sustained Visual Attention via a Central Bottleneck. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15, 1135-1140.
[20] Liotti, M., Woldorff, M. G., Perez, R., & Mayberg, H. S. (2000). An ERP Study of the Temporal Course of the Stroop Color-Word Interference Effect. Neuropsychologia, 38, 701-711.
[21] Loevdén, M., Schaefer, S., Pohlmeyer, A. E., & Lindenberger, U. (2008). Walking Variability and Working-Memory Load in Aging: A Dual-Process Account Relating Cognitive Control to Motor Control Performance. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 63, 121-128.
[22] McKeever, J. D., Schultheis, M. T., Padmanaban, V., & Blasco, A. (2013). Driver Performance While Texting: Even Little Is Too Much. Traffic Injury Prevention, 14, 132-137.
[23] McKnight, A. J., & McKnight, A. S. (1993). The Effect of Cellular Phone Use upon Driver Attention. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 25, 259-265.
[24] Montero-Odasso, M., Muir, S. W., & Speechley, M. (2012). Dual-Task Complexity Affects Gait in People with Mild Cognitive Impairment: The Interplay between Gait Variability, Dual Tasking, and Risk of Falls. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93, 293-299.
[25] Most, S. B., Sorber, A. V., & Cunningham, J. G. (2007). Auditory Stroop Reveals Implicit Gender Association in Adults and Children. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 287-294.
[26] Mourant, R. R., & Rockwell, T. H. (1972). Strategies of Visual Search by Novice and Experienced Drivers. Human Factors, 14, 325-335.
[27] Park, S. (2007). Perceptual Skills in Sports. In Korean Society of Sport Psychology (Ed.), Motor Learning & Control (pp. 79-114). Seoul: Rainbow Books.
[28] Recarte, M. A., & Nunes, L. M. (2000). Effects of Verbal and Spatial-Imagery Tasks on Eye Fixations While Driving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Application, 9, 119-137.
[29] Reed, M. P., & Green, P. A. (1999). Comparison of Driving Performance On-Road and in a Low Cost Simulator Using a Concurrent Telephone Dialing Task. Ergonomics, 42, 1015-1037.
[30] Rezec, A., & Dobkins, K. R. (2004). Attentional Weighting: A Possible Account of Visual Field Asymmetries in Visual Search. Spatial Vision, 17, 269-293.
[31] Schrager, M. A., Kelly, V. E., Price, R., Ferrucci, L., & Shumway-Cook, A. (2008). The Effects of Age on Medio-Lateral Stability during Normal and Narrow Base Walking. Gait Posture, 28, 466-471.
[32] Scott, H., Hall, L., Litchfield, D., & Westwood, D. (2013). Visual Information Search in Simulated Junction Negotiation: Gaze Transitions of Young Novice, Young Experienced and Older Experienced Drivers. Journal of Safety Research, 45, 111-116.
[33] Seya, Y., Nakayasu, H., & Patterson, P. (2008). Visual Search of Trained Drivers in a Driving Simulator. Japanese Psychological Research, 50, 242-252.
[34] Shiohara, K., Nakamura, T., Tatsuta, S., & Iba, Y. (2010). Detailed Analysis of Distraction Induced by In-Vehicle Verbal Interaction on Visual Search Performance. IATSS Research, 34, 42-47.
[35] Springer, S., Giladi, N., Peretz, C., Yogev, G., Simon, E. S., & Hausdorff, J. M. (2006). Dual-Tasking Effects on Gait Variability: The Role of Aging, Falls, and Executive Function. Movement Disorders, 21, 950-957.
[36] Strayer, D. L., & Drews, F. A. (2004). Profiles in Driver Distraction: Effects of Cell Phone Conversations on Younger and Older Drivers. Human Factors, 46, 640-649.
[37] Strayer, D. L., & Drews, F. A. (2007). Cell Phone Induced Driver Distraction. Current Directions in Psychological, 16, 128- 131.
[38] Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Crouch, D. J. (2006). A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Er-gonomics Society, 48, 381-391.
[39] Underwood, G. (2007). Visual Attention and the Transition from Novice to Advanced Driver. Ergonomics, 50, 1235-1249.
[40] Vickers, J. N. (1996). Visual Control When Aiming at Far Target. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 22, 342-354.
[41] Williams, A. M., Davids, K., & Williams, J. G. (1999). Visual Perception and Action in Sport. New York: Taylor & Francis.
[42] Williams, A. M., Singer, R. N., & Frehlich, S. G. (2002). Quiet Eye Duration, Expertise, and Task Complexity in Near and Far Aiming Tasks. Journal of Motor Behavior, 34, 197-207.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.