Cell Phones and Driving: Review of Research

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arlington, Virginia 22201, USA.
Traffic Injury Prevention (Impact Factor: 1.41). 07/2006; 7(2):89-106. DOI: 10.1080/15389580600651103
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The research literature on drivers' use of cell phones was reviewed to identify trends in drivers' phone use and to determine the state of knowledge about the safety consequences of such use.
Approximately 125 studies were reviewed with regard to the research questions, type and rigor of the methods, and findings. Reviewed studies included surveys of drivers, experiments, naturalistic studies (continuous recording of everyday driving by drivers in instrumented vehicles), studies of crash risk, and evaluations of laws limiting drivers' phone use.
Observational surveys indicate drivers commonly use cell phones and that such use is increasing. Drivers report they usually use hand-held phones. Experimental studies have found that simulated or instrumented driving tasks, or driving while being observed, are compromised by tasks intended to replicate phone conversations, whether using hand-held or hands-free phones, and may be further compromised by the physical distraction of handling phones. Effects of phone use on driving performance when drivers are in their own vehicles are unknown. With representative samples of adequate size, naturalistic studies in the future may provide the means to document the patterns and circumstances of drivers' phone use and their effects on real-world driving. Currently, the best studies of crash risk used cell phone company billing records to verify phone use by crash-involved drivers. Two such studies found a fourfold increase in the risk of a property-damage-only crash and the risk of an injury crash associated with phone use; increased risk was similar for males and females, younger and older drivers, and hands-free and hand-held phones. A number of jurisdictions in the United States and around the world have made it illegal for drivers to use hand-held phones. Studies of these laws show only limited compliance and unclear effects on safety.
Even if total compliance with bans on drivers' hand-held cell phone use can be achieved, crash risk will remain to the extent that drivers continue to use or switch to hands-free phones. Although the enactment of laws limiting drivers' use of all phones is consistent with research findings, it is unclear how such laws could be enforced. At least in the short term, it appears that drivers' phone use will continue to increase, despite the growing evidence of the risk it creates. More effective countermeasures are needed but are not known at this time.

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    • "Studies have covered various topics, including red light jumping, incident perception, and young and novice driver behavior (Auberlet et al., 2012; Bella, 2008; Feldman et al., 2011; van Driel, Hoedemaeker, & van Arem, 2007; Yan, Radwan, & Guo, 2007; Yan, Radwan, Guo, & Richards, 2009; Yang, Overton, Han, Yan, & Richards, 2013). The driving simulator methodology has been prevalent in distracted driving studies (McCartt et al., 2006), especially in studies of mobile phone use while driving, which have examined the effects of conversation (Beede & Kass, 2006; Consiglio et al., 2003; Törnros & Bolling, 2005), dialing, and text messaging (Drews et al., 2009; Horrey & Wickens, 2006; Hosking et al., 2009; Rudin-Brown, Young, Patten, Lenné, & Ceci, 2013; Young et al., 2014). In the current study, a driving simulation was conducted to model the effects of reading and typing text messages on the driving performance of young drivers. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Reading and typing text messages while driving seriously impairs driving performance and are prohibited activities in many jurisdictions. Hong Kong is a bilingual society and many people write in both Chinese and English. As the input methods for text messaging in Chinese and English are considerably different, this study used a driving simulator approach to compare the effects of reading and typing Chinese and English text messages on driving performance. Method The driving performances of 26 participants were monitored under the following conditions: (1) no distraction, (2) reading and typing Chinese text messages, and (3) reading and typing English text messages. The following measures of driving performance were collected under all of the conditions: reaction time (RT), driving lane undulation (DLU), driving speed fluctuation (DSF), and car-following distance (CFD) between test and leading cars. Results RT, DLU, and DSF were significantly impaired by reading and typing both Chinese and English text messages. Moreover, typing text messages distracted drivers more than reading them. Although the Chinese text messaging input system is more complicated than the English system, the use of Chinese did not cause a significantly different degree of distraction. Conclusion Both reading and typing text messages while driving should be prohibited regardless of whether Chinese or English is used.
    Transportation Research Part F Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 05/2015; 31:87-98. DOI:10.1016/j.trf.2015.03.010 · 1.99 Impact Factor
    • "Since the dawn of the cellphone, there has been a debate concerning the dangers of phone use while driving. Studies have attempted to characterize the risks of phone use (Caird, Willness, Steel, & Scialfa, 2008; Collet, Guillot, & Petit, 2010; Dingus et al., 2006; Horrey & Wickens, 2006; McCartt, Hellinga, & Bratiman, 2006; McKnight & McKnight, 1993; Redelmeier & Tibshirani, 1997; Young & Schreiner, 2009), with studies using different methodologies and different measures producing widely varying estimates of risk and uncertainties about whether any elevated risk is explained by visual, manual, or cognitive attentional demands of cellphone use. "
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    ABSTRACT: There is limited research on trade-offs in demand between manual and voice interfaces of embedded and portable technologies. Mehler et al. (2014a) identified differences in driving performance, visual engagement, and workload between two contrasting embedded vehicle system designs (Chevrolet MyLink and Volvo Sensus). The current study extends this work by comparing these embedded systems with a smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S4). None of the voice interfaces eliminated visual demand. Relative to placing calls manually, both embedded voice interfaces resulted in less eyes-off-road time than the smartphone. Errors were most frequent when calling contacts using the smartphone. The smartphone and MyLink allowed addresses to be entered using compound voice commands resulting in shorter eyes-off-road time compared with the menu-based Sensus but with many more errors. Driving performance and physiological measures indicated increased demand when performing secondary tasks relative to “just driving”, but were not significantly different between the smartphone and embedded systems. Practitioner summary: The findings show that embedded system and portable device voice interfaces place fewer visual demands on the driver than manual interfaces, but they also underscore how differences in system designs can significantly affect not only the demands placed on drivers but also the successful completion of tasks.
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    • "Accident analyses conducted in 2010 revealed that close to 10% of injury crashes in France could be attributed to mobile phone use while driving (OECD/ITF, 2014). On an international level, reviews of the effects of phone use on driving performance keep raising concerns on the cognitive, visual and manual distraction provoked by calls or other interactions with the phone, and they highlight the corresponding increase in crash risk (McCartt et al., 2006; Brace et al., 2007; Kircher et al., 2011; Bruyas, 2013). Given that they provoke interruptions of drivers' visual sampling of the driving environment, distracting activities with high visual demand are associated to higher crash risk than those that only imply cognitive distraction (Young and Salmon, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Phone use while driving has become one of the priority issues in road safety, given that it may lead to decreased situation awareness and deteriorated driving performance. It has been suggested that drivers can regulate their exposure to secondary tasks and seek for compatibility of phone use and driving. Phone use strategies include the choice of driving situations with low demands and interruptions of the interaction when the context changes. Traffic light situations at urban intersections imply both a temptation to use the phone while waiting at the red traffic light and a potential threat due to the incompatibility of phone use and driving when the traffic light turns green. These two situations were targeted in a roadside observation study, with the aim to investigate the existence of a phone use strategy at the red traffic light and to test its effectiveness. N = 124 phone users and a corresponding control group of non-users were observed. Strategic phone use behaviour was detected for visual–manual interactions, which are more likely to be initiated at the red traffic light and tend to be stopped before the vehicle moves off, while calls are less likely to be limited to the red traffic light situation. As an indicator of impaired situation awareness, delayed start was associated to phone use and in particular to visual–manual interactions, whether phone use was interrupted before moving off or not. Traffic light situations do not seem to allow effective application of phone use strategies, although drivers attempt to do so for the most demanding phone use mode. The underlying factors of phone use need to be studied so as to reduce the temptation of phone use and facilitate exposure regulation strategies.
    Accident Analysis & Prevention 01/2015; 74:42–48. DOI:10.1016/j.aap.2014.10.008 · 1.87 Impact Factor
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