Constructing a Distracted Driving Dataset


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Distracted driving has become a topic of critical importance to driving safety research over the past several decades. Naturalistic driving data offer a unique opportunity to study how drivers engage with secondary tasks in real-world driving; however, the complexities involved with identifying and coding relevant epochs of naturalistic data have limited its accessibility to the general research community. Method This project was developed to help address this problem by creating an accessible dataset of driver behavior and situational factors observed during distraction-related safety-critical events and baseline driving epochs, using the Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) naturalistic dataset. The new NEST (Naturalistic Engagement in Secondary Tasks) dataset was created using crashes and near-crashes from the SHRP2 dataset that were identified as including secondary task engagement as a potential contributing factor. Data coding included frame-by-frame video analysis of secondary task and hands-on-wheel activity, as well as summary event information. In addition, information about each secondary task engagement within the trip prior to the crash/near-crash was coded at a higher level. Data were also coded for four baseline epochs and trips per safety-critical event. Results 1,180 events and baseline epochs were coded, and a dataset was constructed. The project team is currently working to determine the most useful way to allow broad public access to the dataset. Discussion We anticipate that the NEST dataset will be extraordinarily useful in allowing qualified researchers access to timely, real-world data concerning how drivers interact with secondary tasks during safety-critical events and baseline driving. Practical applications The coded dataset developed for this project will allow future researchers to have access to detailed data on driver secondary task engagement in the real world. It will be useful for standalone research, as well as for integration with additional SHRP2 data to enable the conduct of more complex research.



Naturalistic driving studies, Visual attention, Portable aftermarket devices, Driver distractions, Integrated cell phones


Foley, J., & Ebe, K. (2014, August). Constructing a Distracted Driving Dataset. Paper presented at the Fourth International Symposium on Naturalistic Driving Research, Blacksburg, VA. Presentation retrieved from