Human Factors & Emerging Technologies

How do drivers and passengers respond to emerging vehicle technologies and real-time driving challenges? Using specially instrumented vehicles, driving simulators, laboratory studies, and surveys, Westat’s Center for Transportation, Technology & Safety Research supports the development of industry standards and regulatory guidelines that address safety concerns. Older drivers, novice drivers, chronic speeders, and drivers of vehicles with new technologies are often the focus of our work.

Project Highlights

Accelerating teen driver expertise

Teen drivers have a higher rate of car crashes than any other age group. Car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths. These high crash rates take many...

Do drivers understand new instrument panel displays?

The appearance and function of vehicles’ instrument panels, from the speedometer to the navigation system and mirrors, are changing. Large, visual displays that you can configure are replacing gauges;...

Does voice control add to distracted driving?

Increasingly, drivers are using voice control systems to tell the devices in their cars what to do, whether it’s dialing a phone number, getting directions, or even turning up...

Finding the road to health in Tennessee

How do your travel habits affect your health? What impact does transportation have on your community? City planners in Tennessee are beginning to pay more attention to these questions,...

How safe are aftermarket crash avoidance devices?

Crash avoidance systems are sensors, cameras, and processors installed in vehicles and they function by communicating with other vehicles. They are designed to detect dangerous conditions before the driver...

Making off-highway vehicles safer

Recreational off-road vehicles (ROVs) are characterized by a side-by-side seating arrangement for the driver and the passenger. Hundreds of people have been injured and in some cases killed when...

NOPUS: Are you buckled up?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration use observational surveys of driver and occupant behavior to encourage vehicle occupants to wear safety belts...

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