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Investigating the Impact of In-car Communication on Law Enforcement Officer Patrol Performance in an Advanced Driving Simulator, Executive Summary

NCJ Number
Carrick Williams, Ph.D.; Daniel Carruth, Ph.D.; Teena Garrison, Ph.D.; John McGinley, B.S.
Date Published
October 2013
8 pages
This is the executive summary of a project that used a driving simulator in assessing the impact of various formats of radio communication with dispatch on patrol officers' driving, visual attention, and situation awareness while driving.
Based on the findings, there is some evidence that patrol officers' driving performance is impacted by radio communication with dispatch, particularly when using 10-codes. When 10-codes were used in radio communication, variability in lane offset was reduced compared to the baseline (no radio communication) patrol condition and radio communication that used naturalistic language for both static and dynamic display conditions. There was no evidence of any difference between the baseline patrol condition and the naturalistic language conditions. There was no evidence that the breadth of eye movements was significantly impacted by radio communication, the format of radio communication, or the use of the in-vehicle terminal to display dispatch instructions. There was no evidence that the format of radio communication or the use of the in-vehicle terminal significantly impacted officer looks at the display. Situation awareness performance was worse in the 10-codes with static display condition and in the naturalistic language with dynamic display when compared to the baseline patrol condition. There was no evidence of a significant difference between the display conditions when radio communication used naturalistic language. The study used 14 municipal patrol officers from 3 regional law enforcement agencies. They ranged in age from 26 to 45 years old, with an average of 7 years' experience in patrol duty. Twelve of the officers reported actively using 10-codes. Three factors were manipulated in the study: the presence of radio traffic, the format of radio communication, and redundant display of dispatch communication. 1 table