Impacts of anger on driving performance: A comparison to texting and conversation while driving

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Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


Traditionally, driver distraction has been categorized into four types: visual, biomechanical, auditory, and cognitive. However, the place of emotion in driving research is largely undefined. The present study investigates the specific influences of anger – representative emotion arisen while driving, on driving performance, compared to those of traditional distraction tasks. In total, seventy-eight participants were recruited and placed into one of four driving conditions: physical (visual-biomechanical) distraction, cognitive (cognitive-auditory) distraction, emotional (anger), and control conditions. The results demonstrated that anger degrades driving performance as much as or more than other distraction types, specifically, in a yellow traffic signal situation. The causes for these results, underlying mechanisms, and other considerations are discussed with implications for future research.

Publisher's Statement

© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2020.102999

Publication Title

International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics