Dr Neale Kinnear, Head of Behavioural Science, TRL

Neal-KinnearDr Neale Kinnear is a chartered psychologist in the study of human behaviour and transport. He regularly leads and contributes to research projects for high profile clients providing technical expertise for evaluation, research, and evidence-based policy.

Neale has extensive knowledge and experience of international scientific literature in relation to driver behaviour - particularly that of young and novice drivers, graduated driver licensing, driver training and education, distraction, telematics, speeding, and electric vehicles. His knowledge and expertise has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals, international books and has been presented widely at national and international conferences.

Neale sits on the Young Driver Subcommittee and the Standing Committee on Operator Education and Regulation at the Transportation Research Board (TRB), USA. He also sits on the Expert Panel for Road Safety Education Australasia.

A simulator study of driver distraction resulting from the use of music applications
This presentation will show the findings from a piece of research currently being conducted by TRL on behalf of IAM RoadSmart. The research aims to show what level of distraction is associated with new standard fit apps in cars, which allow music selection from devices whilst driving.  This study seeks to address this knowledge gap by benchmarking it against previous TRL driving impairment studies.

Recently, music streaming apps and in-car infotainment systems have become common and integrated in vehicles, replacing traditional modes of in-car entertainment. For example, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are two popular applications which connect to a vehicle’s infotainment display. These allow drivers to interact with their phone through that display, eliminating the need for them to directly interact with their phone. Both apps offer simplified layouts, with large icons to make them easy to use.

These apps are becoming a popular feature on many new cars and some evidence exists to suggest they are less distracting than traditional OEM infotainment systems (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2018).  Nevertheless, little is understood about how interaction with them compares to other common sources of impairment and distraction, such as mobile phone use, the function of which this technology is somewhat looking to replace.