To drive a vehicle safely, a driver must be able to pick up quickly and efficiently the information from inside and outside the vehicle that they need to control it accurately. Often, this has to be done while being distracted by other information, such as roadside signs, devices such as radios or mobile phones inside the vehicle, or conversations with passengers.

Research in the Cognitive Ergonomics Lab analyses distractions of these kinds from the theoretical perspectives of operator workload, task autonomy and task conflict, and applies the results to recommendations for the safe design of vehicle technology, and to advice and training for road safety.