New Evidence of Impacts of Cell Phone Use on Driving Performance: A Review

New Evidence of Impacts of Cell Phone Use on Driving Performance: A Review

Quan Chen (University at Albany, Albany, NY, USA) and Zheng Yan (Faculty of Educational Psychology and Methodology Division, University at Albany, Albany, NY, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/ijcbpl.2013070104


Mobile phone use when driving is widely considered to be a major cause of car accidents. This paper attempts to review the existing literature by focusing on three key issues: (a) Whether and how seriously does mobile phone use impair driving? (b) How and why does mobile phone use impair driving? (c) What should be done to best prevent from accident? The authors identified a total of 90 epidemiological studies, experimental studies, and observational studies that were published during 2007 to 2012. These most recent studies were systematically reviewed in three major categories, (a) the effect of using a mobile phone when driving on drivers’ performance in terms of information processing and vehicle control, (b) variables related to driving, such as characteristics of drivers and mobile phone types, and (c) context and content of conversation during driving. Both limitations of existing research and future research directions are discussed.
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Whether And How Seriously Does Cell Phone Use Impair Driving?

Numerous studies on impact of cell phone use on driving have reported the association between cell phone use and decreased driving performance in various aspects, such as longer reaction time, lower detection rate, and poorer vehicle control, including lane-keeping, headway distance keeping, driving speed controlling, and following distance keeping (Benedetto, Calvi, & D' Amico, 2012; Collet, Guillot, & Petit, 2010; Horrey & Wickens, 2006; Lee & City, 2008; Strayer, Watson, & Drews, 2011; Rosenberger, 2012). In the two meta-analyses on effects of cell phone use on driving performance (Horrey & Wickens, 2006; Caird, Willness, Steel, & Scialfa, 2008), for example, Horrey’s team and Caird’s team reported the similar findings in strong associations between cell phone conversation, for both hand-free and hand-held, and the increase in reaction time and observed associations between cell phone conversation and lane-keeping tasks. Copper and his collaborators (Cooper, Vladisavljevic, Medeiros-Ward, Martin, & Strayer, 2009) indicated that the cell phone use not only distracted drivers but also had the serious consequence even to the overall traffic flow. Consistently with previous publications before 2007, robust scientific evidence has been found after 2007, continuously supporting the conclusion that cell phone use seriously impairs driving performance.

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