Publication Date

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Nada Attar

Second Advisor

Robert Chun

Third Advisor

Sai Venkatesh Kadiyala


eye tracking, driver distraction


Road accidents occur frequently due to driving distractions all around the world. A driving simulator has been created to explore the cognitive effects of distractions while driving in order to address this problem. The purpose of this study is to discover the distraction-causing elements and how they affect driving performance. The simulator offers a secure and regulated setting for carrying out tests while being distracted by different visual distractions, such as solving mathematical equations and number memorizations.

Several trials have been conducted in the studies, which were carried out under varied circumstances like varying driving sceneries and by displaying different distractions. Using Tobii Pro Fusion eye tracker, which records the participants' eye movements and pupil dilation to detect distraction events, the cognitive load of distractions was assessed. In order to ascertain how distractions affect driving behavior, the simulator also gathered data on driving performance, such as steering wheel movements. It also gathered data on how much attention was being paid to the distractions by recording the user’s responses to the distractions.

The preliminary findings of this study will shed light on the cognitive effects of driving distractions as well as the causes of driver distraction. With the help of this information, initiatives and interventions can be created to lower the prevalence of distracted driving and increase road safety. The results of this pilot study may also aid in the creation of safer standards for using electronic devices while driving and better driver training programs.