1st Edition

Driver Distraction A Sociotechnical Systems Approach

    270 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Driver Distraction: A Sociotechnical Systems Approach promotes a sociotechnical systems approach to driver distraction. This perspective focuses on analysis of the whole system, its values, and the interactions between human and technical elements at all organisational levels. The book covers the role that the sociotechnical system plays in the theory, study and mitigation of driver distraction. The book will be of interest to accident and incident investigation researchers and practitioners.

    • Provides a review of the current state of driver distraction research
    • Describes the development, application, and validation of a novel model of driver distraction that accounts for the sociotechnical system
    • Discusses a new, systems-based, driver distraction definition
    • Explains AcciMap analysis of the current legislation on driver distraction from technological devices
    • Offers novel approaches to understanding why driver distraction occurs
    • Presents a extensive framework of the causal factors that lead to distraction informed by drivers 

    1. Introduction. 2. Where are we on Driver Distraction? 3. Exploring the Mechanisms of Distraction from In-Vehicle Technology: The Development of the PARRC Model. 4. What’s the Law got to do with it? Legislation Regarding In-Vehicle Technology use and its Impact on Driver Distraction. 5. Creating the Conditions for Driver Distraction: A Thematic framework of Sociotechnical Factors.6. What Technologies do People use when Driving and Why? 7. Good Intentions: Willingness to Engage with Technology on the Road and in a Driving Simulator. 8. Evolution of the PARRC Model: Development, Application and Validation. 9. Conclusion and Future Work.


    Dr. Katie J. Parnell studied for her Engineering Doctorate at the University of Southampton and holds a First class BsC Psychology degree from the University of Reading. Her research interests include applying, developing and reviewing accident causation from a sociotechnical systems viewpoint. Katie is also interested in the advancements in technological interfaces and how they can be utilised safely. She has published a number of journal articles on applying the sociotechnical systems approach to the study, and mitigation of, driver distraction.

    Professor Neville A. Stanton, PhD, is a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Ergonomist, and holds the Chair in Human Factors in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton. He has degrees in Psychology, Applied Psychology and Human Factors and has worked at the Universities of Aston, Brunel, Cornell and MIT. His research interests include modelling, predicting and analysing human performance in transport systems as well as designing the interfaces between humans and technology. Professor Stanton has worked on cockpit design in automobiles and aircraft over the past 25 years, working on a variety of automation projects. He has published 40 books and over 300 journal papers on Ergonomics and Human Factors, and is currently an editor of the peer-reviewed journal Ergonomics. In 1998 he was awarded the Institution of Electrical Engineers Divisional Premium Award for a co-authored paper on Engineering Psychology and System Safety. The Institution of Ergonomics and Human Factors awarded him The Otto Edholm Medal in 2001, The President¹s Medal in 2008 and The Sir Frederic Bartlett Medal in 2012 for his contribution to basic and applied ergonomics research. The Royal Aeronautical Society awarded him and his colleagues the Hodgson Prize and Bronze Medal in 2006 for research on design-induced flight-deck error published in The Aeronautical Journal. The University of Southampton has awarded him a Doctor of Science (DSc) in 2014 for his sustained contribution to the development and validation of Human Factors methods.

    Dr Katherine L. Plant, BSc, PhD, is New Frontiers Fellow in Human Factors Engineering in the Transportation Research Group (TRG) within the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton, UK. She is the technical lead for aviation and road safety research within the group. In 2014 Katie was awarded the Honorable Company of Air Pilots Prize for Aviation Safety for her research exploring aeronautical critical decision making. Her primary research interests center on understanding how the interaction of the environment we work in and the mental schema that we hold influence our actions and decision-making processes. Katie is passionate about teaching Human Factors and runs the module ‘Human Factors in Engineering’, which is offered to undergraduate and MSc Engineering students across the faculty. In addition to this, Katie supervises a number of PhD, MSc and undergraduate student projects.

    "This book provides a fresh perspective on the persistent problem of driver distraction by breaking the fixation on individual drivers and the devices that distract them. Adopting a sociotechnical perspective to distraction reveals novel solutions that have so far eluded the field. An extremely useful resource for designers, engineers, researchers, accident investigators, regulators and policy makers."

    Professor John D Lee, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA

    "This book takes a new approach to the problem of driver distraction. The sociotechnical systems perspective helps us understand that driver distraction is not just due to human error - but is created unwittingly by international and national committees, governments and regulators, as well as manufactures of vehicles and nomadic devices. This is an important book for researchers and practitioners wishing to understand the latest thinking on driver distraction. It gives a refreshing theoretical perspective on a critical problem, together with practical solutions.  A must read for anyone working in this domain."

    Professor Gary Burnett, University of Nottingham, UK

    "Parnell, Stanton and Plant bring a fresh, sociotechnical, perspective to the study of driver distraction from technological devices, providing a new way of studying distraction with respect to the wider context within which it occurs, as well as the identification of other actors within the environment that influence it. This important book provides new theoretical, methodological and practical contributions to the field of driver distraction that will help to save lives. Highly recommended reading for all those working in this important field of endeavour"

    Professor Michael Regan, University of New South Wales, Australia


    "On the whole, this is an excellent and rigorous description of the application of systems and sociotechnical thinking to develop a sophisticated approach to understanding a pervasive and often fatal phenomena. This book is a valuable companion not just to those who’s research and practice includes the problem of driver distraction. In this reviewer’s opinion, it also serves as an excellent example of how to systematically apply systems thinking to a field where it is necessary but not yet embedded. Complex systems are nothing new (in fact, there are few things older), however our ability to investigate these is relatively recent because the scale of relationships involved and the emergent properties of these are beyond our comprehension without computer modeling. The challenge for contemporary researchers is to update what we think we know based on decades, and perhaps in some cases centuries, of research with new evidence that more closely reflects the reality of complex problems, such as driver behaviour. As a practical contribution to the central issue, the authors provide numerous recommendations with the aim of creating interactions between system components that reduce the likelihood that these create the conditions that support driver distraction."