Driven to Distraction Joe Coyne slides into the drivers seat, starts up the car and heads to town. The empty stretch of interstate gives way to urban congestion , and Coyne hits the brakes as a pedestrian suddenly crosses the street in front of him. But even if he hadnt stopped in time, the woman would have been safe. She isnt real. Neither is the town. And Coyne isnt really driving. Coyne is demonstrating a computerized driving simulator that is helping researchers at Old Dominion University (ODU) examine how in-vehicle guidance systems affect the person behind the wheel. The researchers want to know if such systems, which give audible or written directions, are too distracting or whether any distractions are offset by the benefits drivers get from having help finding their way in unfamiliar locations.
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We are looking at the performance and mental workload of drivers, said Caryl Baldwin, the assistant psychology professor lending the research, which involves measuring drivers reaction time and brain activity as they respond to auditory and visual cues . The researchers just completed a study of the mental workload involved in driving through different kinds of environments and heavy vs, light traffic. Preliminary results show that as people get into more challenging driving situations, they dont have any extra mental energy to respond to something else in the environment. Baldwin said. But the tradeoffs could be worth it, she said. The next step is to test different ways of giving drivers navigational information and how those methods change the drivers mental workload. Is it best if they see a picture that shows their position, a map kind of display? Baldwin said. Is it best if they hear it? Navigational systems now on the market give point-by-point directions that follow a prescribed route. Theyre very unforgiving, Baldwin said. If you miss a turn, they can almost seem to get angry. That style of directions also can be frustrating for people who prefer more general instructions. But such broad directions can confuse drivers who prefer route directions. Baldwin said. Perhaps manufacturers should allow drivers to choose the style of directions they want, or modify systems to present some information in a way that makes sense for people who prefer the survey style, she said. Interestingly, other research has shown that about 60 percent of men prefer the survey style, while 60 percent women prefer the route style, Baldwin said. This explains the classic little thing of why men dont like to stop and ask for directions and women do, Baldwin added. interstate /7intE(:)5steit/n. ”¤ computerize /kEm5pju:tEraiz/v. Ø¹ workload /5wE:klEud/n. congestion /kEn5dVestFEn/n. unforgiving /5QnfE5^iviN/adj. tradeoff ;¦Ė Coney /5kEuni/n. 1. headto go in a certain direction( ) 2. The empty stretch of interstate gives way to urban congestion”¤ §³ interstate”¤ give way to¦Ė 3. Old Dominion UniversityOld Dominion 4. the person behind the wheel 5. offset to counterbalance or compensate for( )
6. whether any distractions are offset by the benefits drivers get from having help finding their way in unfamiliar locations§» (audible or written direction) ”¤Ø§»§Ö 7. auditory and visual 8. mental workload 9. a map kind of display §Ö kind of rather somewhat (§» )»ĒI am kind of hot.§Ö 10. make senseČÉ: 1. Which statement is true of the description in the first two paragraphs? A If Coyne had stopped the car in time, he wouldnt have hit the woman. B The woman would have been knocked over, if Coyne had followed the traffic regulations. C Coyne is not really driving so it is impossible for him to have hit the woman. D If the woman had not crossed the street suddenly, Coyne would not have hit her. 2. What do researchers want to find out, according to the third and fourth paragraphs? A Whether or not audible or written directions are distracting. B How long it will take the driver to respond to auditory and visual stimuli. C How the driver perform under certain mental workload. D All of the above. 3. What are the preliminary results given in the fifth paragraph? A Drivers are afraid of getting into challenging driving situations. B In challenging driving situations, drivers still have extra energy to handle other things. C In challenging driving situations, drivers do not have any additional mental energy to deal with something else. D Drivers mental load remains unchanged under different situations. 4. The sixth paragraph mainly state that the researchers A are designing a visual navigational information system. B are designing an audio navigational information system. C are designing an audio-visual navigational information system. D want to determine the best ways of giving navigational information system. 5. What kind of directions do men and women prefer? A Women prefer more general directions and men prefer route directions. B Men prefer more general direction and women prefer route directions. C Both men and women prefer general directions. D Both men and women prefer route directions. : 1. C ¦Ź¦Å Coyne ¦Å §Ž¦Ė AB D 2. D ¦Č§ą¦Č§ą §Ö D 3. C 4. D ¦Å 5.B general instructions route directions §Ö point-by-point directions that follow a prescribed route¦Ź survey style route style general instructions general directions point-by-point directions route style ”¤ ¦Å general directions point-by-point directions route style Joe Coyne”¤§³ Coyne Coyne Coyne
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