Cognitive load and detection thresholds in car following situations: safety implications for using mobile (cellular) telephones while driving

Cognitive load and detection thresholds in car following situations: safety implications for... This study was aimed at investigating drivers’ ability to detect a car ahead decelerating, while doing mobile phone related tasks. Nineteen participants aged between 20 and 29 years, (2000–125 000 km driving experience) drove at 80 km/h, 50 m behind a lead car, on a 30 km section of motorway in normal traffic. During each trial the lead car started to decelerate at an average of 0.47 m/s 2 while the participant either looked at the car in front (control), continuously dialed series of three random integers on a numeric keypad (divided visual attention), or performed a memory and addition task (non-visual attention). The results indicated that drivers’ detection ability was impaired by about 0.5 s in terms of brake reaction time and almost 1 s in terms of time-to-collision, when they were doing the non-visual task whilst driving. This impairment was similar to when the drivers were dividing their visual attention between the road ahead and dialing numbers on the keypad. It was concluded that neither a hands-free option nor a voice controlled interface removes the safety problems associated with the use of mobile phones in a car. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Accident Analysis & Prevention Elsevier

Cognitive load and detection thresholds in car following situations: safety implications for using mobile (cellular) telephones while driving

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN
0001-4575
eISSN
1879-2057
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0001-4575(99)00018-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study was aimed at investigating drivers’ ability to detect a car ahead decelerating, while doing mobile phone related tasks. Nineteen participants aged between 20 and 29 years, (2000–125 000 km driving experience) drove at 80 km/h, 50 m behind a lead car, on a 30 km section of motorway in normal traffic. During each trial the lead car started to decelerate at an average of 0.47 m/s 2 while the participant either looked at the car in front (control), continuously dialed series of three random integers on a numeric keypad (divided visual attention), or performed a memory and addition task (non-visual attention). The results indicated that drivers’ detection ability was impaired by about 0.5 s in terms of brake reaction time and almost 1 s in terms of time-to-collision, when they were doing the non-visual task whilst driving. This impairment was similar to when the drivers were dividing their visual attention between the road ahead and dialing numbers on the keypad. It was concluded that neither a hands-free option nor a voice controlled interface removes the safety problems associated with the use of mobile phones in a car.

Journal

Accident Analysis & PreventionElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 1999

References

  • The effects of a mobile telephone task on driver behaviour in a car following situation
    Alm, H.; Nilsson, L.
  • The situational risks of young drivers: the influence of passengers, time of day and day of week on accident rates
    Doherty, S.T.; Andrey, J.C.; MacGregor, C.
  • Cellular phones and traffic accidents: an epidemiological approach
    Violanti, J.M.; Marshall, J.R.
  • Cellular phones and fatal traffic collisions
    Violanti, J.M.

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