Young Drivers, Distraction, and Advanced Vehicle Technologies

When and Where

Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:10 pm to 1:30 pm
Bahen Centre for Information Technology, Room 2135
Bahen Centre for Information Technology
40 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 2E4


Birsen Donmez



Distraction is a significant contributing factor to young driver crashes. Crash risk is known to decrease with driving experience, partly because of the improved skills to control the vehicle, but also because of the improved capability to distribute attention, even when distracted. A series of empirical studies will be presented evaluating young drivers’ attention allocation both for manual driving (i.e., no or low level of automation) and for high levels of vehicle automation.

Studies evaluating different distraction mitigation techniques for young drivers’ manual driving will also be presented.


Professor Donmez’s research interests are centered on understanding and improving human behavior and performance in multi-task and complex situations, using a wide range of analytical techniques. In particular, her research focuses on operator attention in multitask activities, decision support under uncertainty, and human automation interaction, with applications in various domains including surface transportation, healthcare, mining, and unmanned vehicle operations. Professor Donmez received an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement (2016), the inaugural Stephanie Binder Young Professional Award from the HFES Surface Transportation Technical Group (2014), an Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation of Ontario (2015), the Early Career Teaching Award from the U of T Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (2013), a Connaught New Researcher Award from the University of Toronto (2011), the Dr. Charles H. Miller Best Paper Award from the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals (2010), and a Dwight David Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Transportation (2006). She has served on multiple committees of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, as an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems, and as the General Chair for AutomotiveUI’18. Her research has been featured by the CBC, Global TV News, Globe and Mail, and Toronto Star.

Contact Information

Dr. LH Shu
(416) 946 3028


40 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 2E4