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Divided Attention Test

DUI researchers have concluded that driving is a complex task which requires a driver to divide their attention among two or more tasks. For example, the driver must steer the car and at the same time scan the roadway for other events. This is termed divided attention.

One of the ways that alcohol, some medications and some drugs affect driving driving performance is to slow information processing in the brain, resulting in an impairment of one's ability to perform two or more tasks at teh same time. In other words, the impaired driver may be able to maintain the vehicle in a single lane or to scan the roadway, but is unable to both well at the same time.

Impairment of a driver's ability to divide their attention may be displayed in one of three ways:

  • The manner of driving may evidence divided attention impairment.
  • The driver's responses to questions while being asked to retrieve documents may evidence divided attention impairment.
  • Performance on field sobriety tests may evidence divided attention impairment.

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