The Effects of Texting and DUI Simulation on Driving Performance in a Driving SimulatorTheresa J Palumbo1, Doreen Head2, Aaron Swift2, Gordon Rumschlag1, Jeremy Ing1, Cindy Ngo1, Matthew Sur ducan1, Eric Lahoud1, Brenna Johnson1, Benjamin Mackie1 and Randall L Commissaris1*
- *Corresponding Author:
- Randall L Commissaris
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
3126 Applebaum Building
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
Email: [email protected]
Received Date: January 09, 2015; Accepted Date: March 30, 2015; Published Date: April 7, 2015
Citation: Palumbo TJ, Head D, Swift A, Rumschlag G, Ing J, et al. (2015) The Effects of Texting and DUI Simulation on Driving Performance in a Driving Simulator. J Ergonomics S3:013. doi:10.4172/2165-7556.S3-013
Copyright: © 2015 Palumbo TJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Alcohol and texting each have serious effects on driving ability, leading to crashes and fatalities. The combined effects of alcohol intoxication and texting on driving behavior have not been well-studied. The present study utilized ‘Beer Goggles’ (BG) to test the hypothesis that the visual disturbances typically observed with ethanol intoxication potentiate the disruptive effects of texting on driving. Subjects were 18–26 years of age. While ‘driving’ on a straight roadway, subjects were engaged in brief text conversations. Subjects wore normal safety goggles and BG that simulated the visual disturbance associated with 0.07-0.1 % EtOH (legally drunk). The primary dependent variables were (1) the position of the car on the roadway and (2) eye glances on the phone-v-the roadway during texting. In all subjects, texting while driving was associated with a series of glances back and forth between the phone and the roadway, with slightly more than half this time spent looking at the phone and NOT at the roadway. Texting alone significantly impaired driving performance. BG alone did not negatively affect driving. BG significantly increased the disruptive effects of texting on driving performance and also increased (1) mean (and median) glance duration, (2) the average number of glances off the roadway per text conversation, (3) the duration of the Longest Glance Off the Roadway and finally (4) the Total duration of Eyes Off the Roadway. The present study confirms past reports that texting impairs driving performance. Moreover, the effects of texting on driving are dramatically worse when vision has been moderately impaired by BG. Given the high likelihood of texting while driving and after drinking, these data suggest that ‘No Texting While Driving’ education and public service messages need to be continued, and they should be expanded to focus on the negative interaction between texting, drinking and driving.