Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hands-on or hands-free, using a cell phone while driving is not safe

01.02.2005


In 2003 cell phone distraction resulted in 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries



Ninety percent of cell phone owners report that they use the phone while driving, according to a report published in 1999. Another report from 2003 indicates that cell phone distraction results in 2,600 deaths, 330,000 injuries, and 1.5 million instances of property damage in the United States each year. Can hands-free devices reduce accidents, fatalities, or damage? No, say human factors researchers published in a special driver distraction section in Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

In fact, if a hands-free device is not easy to use, a driver who uses it could be even more distracted than by simply holding the phone. Things could get worse: The next generation of communication technology -- such as wireless Internet, speech recognition systems, satelitte radio, and e-mail -- could be far more distracting for drivers, creating even greater risk on the road.


The recent controversy regarding cellular telephones and their effect on driving safety has generated public concern regarding the danger posed by these devices. Many state legislatures have responded with various proposals to restrict cell phone use while driving. But some of the laws proposed won’t improve driver safety because they don’t discourage hands-free phone use.

The debate surrounding new technologies in vehicles has indicated a substantial need for a better technical basis to support public policy. This, coupled with a recent surge of research in this area, motivated the special section of Human Factors (Volume 46, Number 4, Winter 2004).

The eight driver distraction special section papers show that

  • Cell phone conversations alone, without dialing or answering, change the way drivers see the world and make them more likely to miss traffic signs and other important information (see the special section papers by McPhee, Scialfa, Dennis, Ho, and Caird and by Atchley and Dressel).
  • Using a speech recognition system to reduce distraction, such as speaking an address into a navigation system, can make the task easier, but it can still disrupt driving, particularly the driver’s ability to control the vehicle’s speed. Drivers slow down when entering information manually or by voice (see the paper by Tsimhoni, Smith, and Green).
  • Information (such as telephone numbers) presented by voice competes for drivers’ attention to a far greater extent than when the driver sees the same information presented on a display. Horrey and Wickens found that auditory information led to poorer speed control than was the case with visual displays of the same information.
  • The effect of distractions depends on when they occur. Interruptions to driving, such as answering a cell phone, are likely to be more dangerous if they occur during maneuvers like merging to exit a freeway (refer to the paper by Monk, Boehm-Davis, and Trafton).

Overall, these results show that hands-free devices are not the solution to the problem of driver distraction. The papers also indicate new directions for enhancing driving safety.

Lois Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hfes.org

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht New players, standardization and digitalization for more rail freight transport
16.07.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>