Author(s): Samuel S, Pollatsek A, Fisher D
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Abstract The threat that cell-phones pose to driving has been a well researched topic. There are fewer studies of the threat that texting creates for drivers, but the risks are obvious and the few existing studies confirm this. What is not obvious is whether frequent texters will expose themselves to the same risks as infrequent texters. This is important to know because many texters, especially teens who text frequently, may consider themselves immune to the dangers of texting while driving. As such, a comparison of frequent and infrequent texters was undertaken on a driving simulator. It is also not immediately clear what effects the different types of interfaces have on driving performance while text messaging. The interfaces under evaluation included keypad or "qwerty" phones (e.g., Blackberries) and touchpad phones (iPhone). It was found that the frequent and infrequent texters were equally likely to glance at least once for more than 2s inside the vehicle while sending a text message. It was also found that touchpad texters had a larger number of glances above the 2s threshold than keypad users, though this difference was not significant. The implications of this for future public policy are discussed.
This article was published in Proc Int Driv Symp Hum Factors Driv Assess Train Veh Des
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics