- Drones are being used increasingly in the transportation sector for roadside applications such as surveying, structural inspection, and traffic monitoring, which raises distraction concerns for drivers. This study examines the visual attention of a group of Oregon drivers to determine drones’ potential as distracting roadside elements. Eye tracking data was collected from 30 subjects during a driving simulator experiment featuring roadside drone operations. The independent variables manipulated were drone proximity to roadway, flight path, and roadside land use. Comparisons were made between visual attention during drone event exposure and baseline visual attention and between visual attention during drone exposure while facing different types of surrounding land use (urban vs rural). Results showed that roadside drone operations had a statistically significant effect on drivers’ visual attention, and that this effect was present both in rural and urban scenarios.