Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving and Risk of Road Crashes among Novice and Experienced Drivers, New England Journal of Medicine, January 2014. Distracted driving attributable to the performance of secondary tasks is a major cause of motor vehicle crashes both among teenagers who are novice drivers and among adults who are experienced drivers.

State Laws, Distraction.gov - The Department of Transportation's most current compilation of state laws related to distracted driving.

Facts and Statistics, Distraction.gov - Front page for facts and studies regarding distracted driving.

Highway to Justice Newsletter, Spring 2014, American Bar Association. Includes an article entitled “Distracted Driving: Technology & Its Impact on the Complex Task of Driving” by the Hon. Neil Edward Axel, JOL from Maryland.

Driver Electronic Device Use in 2012, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, February 2014. This survey details levels of visible cell phone use by US drivers in 2012.

Ankur Shah, "Text Messaging and Distracted Driving: Using Voice Dictation to Make Roads Safer", University of Michigan 2013.  This research is interesting because it suggests that voice to text is safer than texting, which conflicts with other research that is available.

Mobile Device Use While Driving – United States and Seven European Countries, 2011, CDC, March 2013. In 2011, online surveys of drivers aged 18–64 years revealed that the percentage of those who reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving ranged from 21% in the United Kingdom to 69% in the United States, and the percentage of those who reported that they had read or sent text or e-mail messages while driving ranged from 15% in Spain to 31% in Portugal and the United States.

Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving, NHTSA, 2012. The Blueprint For Ending Distracted Driving lays out a plan for building on the progress  we’ve made to date—and arms safety partners, advocates, and the Nation’s future leaders with clear, forward‑thinking strategies.

Strayer, David L. et. al., "Measuring Cognitive Distraction in the Automobile."  AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  The goal of the current research was to establish a systematic framework for measuring and understanding cognitive distraction in the vehicle. In this report, we describe three experiments designed to systematically measure cognitive distraction.

Distracted Driving 2013, NHTSA, April 2015. This fact sheet addresses distracted driving behaviours in the U.S. in 2011.

Young Drivers Report the Highest Level of Phone Involvement in Crash or Near-Crash Incidences, NHTSA, April 2012. This study looked at the willingness of different age groups to use their phones while driving and observed correlations between this and accident data.

Distracted Driving Among Newly Licensed Teen Drivers, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, April 2012. The AAA Foundation collected video data on teen drivers during the provisional licensing stage of GDL. This in-vehicle data provided a unique opportunity to study distracted driver behaviors and potentially distracting conditions among young, beginning drivers. The study then analyzed behavior patterns among the surveyed drivers.

Distraction Effects of In-Vehicle Tasks Requiring Number and Text Entry Using Auto Alliance’s Principle 2.1B Verification Procedure, NHTSA, February 2012. This report documents research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to assess protocols developed for measurement of driver distraction associated with secondary tasks. The research supports NHTSA’s development of guidelines on the topic of driver distraction by assessing available protocols and their related measures of secondary task effects on driving performance for their ability to provide meaningful information regarding which tasks are more distracting than others.

National Phone Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors, NHTSA, December 2012. In the first of several national telephone surveys, The National Survey of Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behavior assessed current attitudes, knowledge, and self-reported behaviors about cell phones, texting, and distracted driving of more than 6,000 drivers representing all 50 States and the District of Columbia.

Americans and Text Messaging, Pew Research Center, September 2011. This study looked at Americans' general cell phone usage.

Singh, Santokh. “Distracted Driving and Driver, Roadway, and Environmental Factors.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: December, 2010. This report provides necessary details of the NMVCCS data followed by discussion on the choice of the relevant variables and the analysis methodology. The results from univariate and bivariate analyses are discussed in detail, reflecting on the impact of distracted driving on crash occurrence.

Choi, Eun-Ha. “Crash Factors in Intersection-Related Crashes: An On-Scene Perspective.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: September, 2010. Crashes often occur at intersections because these are the locations where two or more roads cross each other and activities such as turning left, crossing over, and turning right have the potential for conflicts resulting in crashes. In order to understand the crash scenarios at intersections, this study examines general characteristics of motor vehicle traffic crashes at intersections by analyzing the association of the critical reason with several crash factors such as driver’s sex and age, traffic control device, critical pre-crash event, and atmospheric condition. The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey data collected at crash scenes between 2005 and 2007 is used in statistical analyses such as descriptive analysis, generalized logit model, and configural frequency analysis.

Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operations.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: September, 2009. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration awarded a contract to investigate driver distraction in commercial motor vehicle drivers. The purpose of this study was to characterize driver inattention in safety-critical and baseline events and to determine the relative risk of driving while distracted. The purpose of this report was to document the method, results, and conclusions from this study.

Just, Marcel Adam, Timothy A. Keller and Jacquelyn Cynkar. “A Decrease in Brain Activation Associated with Driving when Listening to Someone Speak.” Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburg, PA: 2008. Behavioral studies have shown that engaging in a secondary task, such as talking on a cellular telephone, disrupts driving performance. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the impact of concurrent auditory language comprehension on the brain activity associated with a simulated driving task. Participants steered a vehicle along a curving virtual road, either undisturbed or while listening to spoken sentences that they judged as true or false. The dual-task condition produced a significant deterioration in driving accuracy caused by the processing of the auditory sentences. At the same time, the parietal lobe activation associated with spatial processing in the undisturbed driving task decreased by 37% when participants concurrently listened to sentences. The findings show that language comprehension performed concurrently with driving draws mental resources away from the driving and produces deterioration in driving performance, even when it does not require holding or dialing a phone.

Hosking, Simon, Kristie Young and Michael Regan. “The Effects of Text Messaging on Young Novice Driver Performance.” Monash University, Accident Research Centre. Victoria, Australia: February, 2006. This project aimed to evaluate, using the advanced driving simulator located at the Monash University Accident Research Centre, the effects of text (SMS) messaging on the driving performance of young novice drivers. The results revealed that retrieving and, in particular, sending text messages had a detrimental effect on a number of safety critical driving measures.

Horrey, William J. and Christopher D. Wickens. “Examining the Impact of Cell Phone Conversations on Driving Using Meta-Analytic Techniques.” 48 Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 1 (Spring 2006): 196-205. This study was performed because there are many studies done on cell phone impact with mixed results. This analysis finds that there are significant costs to driver reactions to external hazards or events associated with cell phone use, hands-free phones do not eliminate or substantially reduce these costs and different research methodologies or performance measures may underestimate these costs.

Dingus, T.A. et al. “The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, Phase II – Results of the 100-Car Field Experiment.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: April, 2006. The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study is the first instrumented vehicle study designed to collect a large volume of naturalistic driving data for a large number of drivers over an extended period of time. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) installed instruments and sensors in 100 vehicles that were then driven as ordinary vehicles by ordinary drivers for one year. Drivers were given no special instructions, no experimenter was present, and the data collection system was unobtrusive. In addition, drivers’ own vehicles were instrumented for 78 out of the 100 vehicles. Drivers apparently adapted rapidly to the instrumentation, probably within the first hour. The resulting database contains many extreme cases of driving behavior and performance, including severe drowsiness, impairment, judgment error, risk taking, willingness to engage in secondary tasks, aggressive driving, and traffic violation (just to name a few) that have been difficult to examine using other techniques.

Strayer, David L., Frank A. Drews and Dennis J. Crouch. “A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver.” 48 Human Factors 2 (Summer 2006): 381-391. The objective of this research was to determine the relative impairment associated with conversing on a cellular telephone while driving. When driving conditions and time on task were controlled for, the impairments associated with using a cell phone while driving can be as profound as those associated with drunk driving.

Strayer, David L. and Frank A. Drews. “Profiles in Driver Distraction: Effects of Cell Phone Conversations on Younger and Older Drivers.”46 Human Factors 4 (Winter 2004): 640-649. Our research examined the effects of hands-free cell phone conversations on simulated driving. We found that driving performance of both younger and older adults was influenced by cell phone conversations.

Drews, Frank A., Monisha Pasupathi and David L. Strayer. “Passenger and Cell-Phone Conversations in Simulated Driving.” Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 48th Annual Meeting (2004): 2210-2212. Previous work on use of cell phones while driving compared cell phone conversations while driving with driving only conditions. This study investigated how conversing on a cell phone differs from conversing with a passenger. Participants conversed about close-call situations they experienced. We compared how well drivers followed task instructions when driving only, when driving and conversing on a cell phone, and when driving and conversing with a passenger. The results show that the number of driving errors was highest in the cell-phone condition. Analyzing the conversations we found that in passenger conversations more references were made to traffic and more turn taking followed those references than in cell phone conversations. The results show that passenger conversations differ from cell phone conversations because the surrounding traffic becomes a topic of the conversation, helping driver and passenger to share situation awareness, and mitigating the potential effects of conversation on driving.

Strayer, David L., Frank A. Drews and William A. Jonston. “Cell Phone-Induced Failures of Visual Attention During Simulated Driving.” This research examined the effects of hands-free cell phone conversations on simulated driving. The authors found that these conversations impaired driver’s reactions to vehicles braking in front of them. The authors assessed whether this impairment could be attributed to a withdrawal of attention from the visual scene, yielding a form of inattention blindness. Cell phone conversations impaired explicit recognition memory for roadside billboards. Eye-tracking data indicated that this was due to reduced attention to foveal information. This interpretation was bolstered by data showing that cell phone conversations impaired implicit perceptual memory for items presented at fixation. The data suggest  that the impairment of driving performance produced by cell phone conversations is mediated, at least in part, by reduced attention to visual inputs.

Driver Electronic Device Use Observation Protocol.” Traffic Safety Facts: Research Note. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: August, 2010.

Overview of Results From the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group Survey on Distracted Driving Data Collection and Reporting.” Traffic Safety Facts: Crash Stats. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: October, 2010.

Vermette, Elizabeth. “Curbing Distracted Driving: 2010 Survey of State Safety Programs.” Governors Highway Safety Association. Washington, DC: 2010 This is the first national analysis of state comprehensive efforts to prevent and reduce distracted driving. Survey results show that states are out on front on the issue and working in a comprehensive manner to mitigate distracted driving.

Cosgrove, Linda, Neil Chaudhary and Scott Roberts. “High Visibility Enforcement Demonstration Programs in Connecticut and New York Reduce Hand-Held Phone Use.” Traffic Safety Facts: Research Note. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: September, 2010.

Madden, Mary and Amanda Lenhart. “Teens and Distracted Driving: Texting, Talking and Other Uses of the Cell Phone Behind the Wheel.” Pew Research Center. Washington, DC: November, 2009. Report on the current research surrounding teens and distracted driving because of their cell phones.

Driver Electronic Device Use in 2013.” Traffic Safety Facts: Research Note. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: April, 2015.

Madden, Mary and Lee Rainie. “Adults and Cell Phone Distractions.” Pew Research Center. Washington, DC: June, 2010. This report indicates widespread texting or talking on a cell phone while driving among adults.

Ranney, Thomas A. et al.“Developing a Test to Measure Distraction Potential of In-Vehicle Information System Tasks in Production Vehicles.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: November, 2011.

Ranney, Thomas A. et al. “Distraction Effects of Manual Number and Text Entry While Driving.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: August, 2011.

National Distracted Driving Telephone Survey Finds Most Drivers Answer the Call, Hold the Phone, and Continue to Drive.” Traffic Tech: Technology Transfer Series. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: December, 2011.

Thomas, F. Dennis III, et al. “Field and Simulator Evaluations of a PC-Based Attention Maintenance Training Program.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, DC: July, 2011. This report presents the results of three research studies regarding driver distraction from the forward roadway due to secondary in-vehicle tasks.