Effects of mobile computer terminal configuration and level of driving control on police officers’ performance and workload

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Shupsky, Taylor
Lyman, Adriana
He, Jibo
Zahabi, Maryam
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In-vehicle technology , Law enforcement , Distraction , Safety , Accidents
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Shupsky, T., Lyman, A., He, J., & Zahabi, M. (2020). Effects of Mobile Computer Terminal Configuration and Level of Driving Control on Police Officers’ Performance and Workload. Human Factors

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess police officers’ performance and workload in using two mobile computer terminal (MCT) configurations under operational and tactical driving conditions. Background: Crash reports have identified in-vehicle distraction to be a major cause of law enforcement vehicle crashes. The MCT has been found to be the most frequently used in-vehicle technology and the main source of police in-vehicle distraction. Method: Twenty police officers participated in a driving simulator-based assessment of driving behavior, task completion time, and perceived workload with two MCT configurations under operational and tactical levels of driving. Results: The findings revealed that using the MCT configuration with speech-based data entry and head-up display location while driving improved driving performance, decreased task completion time, and reduced police officers’ workload as compared to the current MCT configuration used by police departments. Officers had better driving but worse secondary task performance under the operational driving as compared to the tactical driving condition. Conclusion: This study provided an empirical support for use of an enhanced MCT configuration in police vehicles to improve police officers’ safety and performance. In addition, the findings emphasize the need for more training to improve officers’ tactical driving skills and multitasking behavior. Application: The findings provide guidelines for vehicle manufacturers, MCT developers, and police agencies to improve the design and implementation of MCTs in police vehicles considering input modality and display eccentricity, which are expected to increase officer and civilian safety.

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Human Factors;2020
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