Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Cell phone use in cars causes tunnel vision


’Cell-free zones’ recommended

Preliminary results of a University of Rhode Island analysis of the eye-movements of automobile drivers using cell phones found that the drivers have a reduced field of view – tunnel vision. Further studies may have significant implications on the use of cell phones in automobiles.

URI industrial engineering Professor Manbir Sodhi and psychology Professor Jerry Cohen used a head-mounted, eye-tracking device on volunteer drivers and concluded that the alertness of the drivers decreased considerably when they were conducting cognitive tasks, such as remembering a list of items, calculating in one’s head, or using a cell phone.

Their research also found that the tunnel vision caused by cell phone use continues well after the conversation ends, perhaps because drivers are still thinking about the conversation.

"The debate surrounding cell phone use in cars has been directed toward concerns over holding the phone," said Sodhi. "Holding the phone isn’t the main issue. Thinking is."

Sodhi and Cohen recognize the usefulness and popularity of cell phones and do not advocate banning their use in automobiles. Instead, they say discussion should focus on how to make cell phone use easy and safe for everyone inside and outside of the car.

"I believe higher levels of safety can be achieved by establishing cell-free zones," Sodhi said. He suggests that cell phone use be prohibited on roadways that require high levels of alertness, for instance in congested traffic, in poor weather, and on winding roads. On flat, dry, open pavement during light traffic conditions, he believes cell phone use should be permitted.

The research also found that even when drivers do tasks that require brief glances away from the roadway, like adjusting the radio, wide-ranging eye-movement suggests a higher level of alertness than when speaking on a cell phone. The study found that most drivers seldom glance away from the road for more than about 1.6 seconds when doing such tasks. This result corresponds with the results of previous research.

"People have a safety limit of how long their eyes can go off the road," Sodhi said. "If a job takes the eyes more than about one-and-a-half seconds, it could well be putting people in a hazardous situation."

Sodhi and Cohen plan additional eye-tracking studies this summer, focusing exclusively on cell phone use and other cognitive tasks. They also intend to include volunteers from a wider range of ages, as well as some with disabilities, to further expand their research.

Todd McLeish | EurekAlert

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht Product placement: Only brands placed very prominently benefit from 3D technology
07.07.2016 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

nachricht NASA Goddard network maintains communications from space to ground
02.03.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>