Relations between a laboratory-based sustained attention task and traffic violations in an Iranian sample of drivers

Soghra Akbari Chermahini, Despina Stavrinos, Caitlin N. Pope, Amin Behzadnia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The role of cognitive abilities regarding driver behavior is crucially important in the occurrence of traffic violations and preventing tragic motor vehicle collisions. Sustained attention is one cognitive ability that may contribute to safe driving behavior. The present study investigated the relation between sustained attention and traffic violations. One hundred and one Iranian male drivers (age: M = 37.17, SD = 8.37) with at least 2 years driving experience voluntarily participated in the study. Participants were categorized into two groups based on the number of driving rule violations they committed over the last 2 years (n = 48 clean record, n = 53 violators). Sustained attention was measured by performance on the Conjunctive Continuous Performance Task (CCPT). Four CCPT performance measures were computed: (1) Mean reaction time for correct responses (M-RT); (2) standard deviation of reaction times for correct responses (SD-RT); (3) percent of omission errors (failure to respond to target stimulus); (4) percent of commission errors (identification of a non-target stimulus as target). Results showed after controlling for age and education, there was a significant group difference on M-RT, indicating that individuals with no traffic violations had faster reaction times as compared to those who had 1 or more traffic violations. No effect of group on any of the other outcomes was present after correcting for alpha inflation. When assessing the effect of age and education, education was significantly related to average reaction time and percent of omission errors. No significant effect of age was apparent. Findings suggest cognitive function, specifically sustained attention measured with a laboratory-based measure, may be associated with safe driving behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Conjunctive Continuous Performance Task (CCPT)
  • Safe driving
  • Sustained attention
  • Traffic violations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology


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