Literature Review - Cell Phones
Cell phones have always been blacklisted as the cause to motor vehicle accidents - Literature Review - Cell Phones introduction. They are blamed for distracted drivers making errors on the road resulting in accidents. Driving requires a degree of concentration to both the external stimuli of the road, pedestrians, and other drivers, as well as concentration to the continued maintenance of the vehicle within a given driving lane, however, there are distractions to every driver when driving.
Whether the distraction is physical, as in holding a cell phone while driving, or auditory, as in having a conversation on a hands-free cell phone, distractions have a monumental effect on the processing of the human brain. In instances where the individual driving is not using a cell phone, the brain is allowed to focus exclusively on the environmental stimuli around them as they drive, allowing for the brain to undergo single processing, where it is processing one event, driving, at a given point in time.
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When a driver’s brain undergoes dual processing, the driver is using a cell phone while driving, thus forcing the brain to process two sets of stimuli: the environmental stimuli involved in driving, and a supplemental stimuli, a cell phone conversation. Unfortunately, due to the massive effects of these stimuli on the human brain and senses, “the issue of whether we can really talk on a cell phone and drive at the same time, dividing our attention between two demanding tasks… in short, the general answer is, no we really can’t…” (Ashcraft & Radvansky, 2010).
The following analysis of several research studies had participants that were divided into two groups: those undergoing single processing (not having a conversation on a hands-free cell phone), and those undergoing dual processing (conversing on a hands-free cell phone while driving in a driving simulator). These studies research the effect of hands-free cell phone use while driving recreationally or due to work-related tasks. Over 100 million drivers engage in the use of a cell phone while driving (Drews & Strayer, 2007).
The use of a cell phone while driving may lead to undesirable distractions, which can lead to accidents, sometimes even fatal accidents. However, distracted driving does not result from cell phone usage only. A research article (Stimpson & Wilson, 2010) states , “A fatality was defined as being caused by distraction if a driver-related accident factor was recorded as being emotional, inattentive, or careless, or using a cellular phone, computer, or fax machine, or on-board navigation or heads-up display system.
” With an array of factors affecting the focus of drivers, cell phone usage cannot be accurately pinpointed as the cause of accidents. A research proposal will attempt to determine if cell phone usage truly causes a difference in driving amongst individuals. The research question will be, “Whether it is hands-on or hands-free, does cell phone usage affect the driving ability of individuals? ” This will also be extended into a null hypothesis(H0), being “There will be no significant difference in driving while using a cell phone and driving without using a cell phone.
” The research hypothesis will be, “There will be a significant difference in driving while using a cell phone and driving without using a cell phone. ” Evidence from a wide variety of sources has established a link between attention and driving, especially when engaging in cell phone conversations at the same time. Several studies have been conducted to find out if cell phone usage while driving has caused a significant difference in the way it affects driver’s performance on the road and their attention to their surroundings.
“Recent estimates suggest that 85% of cell phone owners use their phones while driving” (Strayer, Drews &, Johnston, 2003). Each year more and more drivers are engaging in behaviors such as texting, dialing, web searches, and various types of conversations with their cell phones. The distracting effects of cell phone conversations while driving affect the ability of the driver to engage full cognitive working attention and memory while performing such a task.
This inability can lead to the distraction of the driver, which leads to the decrease in reaction time to unexpected events, which increase in the cause of accidents per year. Researchers have found that there are several independent variables that effect how a driver performs during everyday traffic. Some independent variables that are analyzed are age, gender, cell phone type, familiarity, and driving experience, can have an enormous impact on the driver, aiding to the probability of accidents caused by distracted drivers.
That is why our plan is to analyze various studies done to prove or disprove our hypothesis. We will look at studies that analyze several independent variables in depth to get a true answer of how, why, and what kind of affect engaging in cell phone conversations and activities while driving has on the driver. According to a study by Olowske and Luyben, (2009), “… vehicle crashes accounted for 118 deaths per day on American highways in 2002…”, and many of these crashes are avoidable.
In 2002, it has been estimated that 3% of drivers of personal vehicles are driving while using cell phones, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration observed that 6% of all drivers nationally, roughly one million drivers, are using their phones while driving, at any given time during daylight hours. Based on these national findings, Olowske and Luyben chose to study the percentage of drivers using cell phones within a small city in New York.
In Olowske and Luyben’s study, data was collected over fifteen days from 9am on Mondays and 3pm on Fridays in thirty minute intervals, at three different locations, at which the researchers studied passing cars and drivers to see if those drivers were using their cell phones. Participants were specifically those drivers, during daylight hours, of personal, noncommercial vehicles. There was no set age group, or gender, related to this study. The results of the data determined that over the fifteen day study there was a range of 1. 3-5. 1% of drivers studied within a two minute interval were on their cell phones.
The mean of the data consisted of 3. 2% of drivers using their phones while driving, comparable to the national average of 3%. Three locations were surveyed within a small city in New York: a Burger King, police station, and Honda motors shop. Of these three locations, the Honda motors shop exhibited the most cell phone use by drivers, followed by the police station, then the Burger King. To ensure reliability of data, the researchers had one observer individually per location record the number of cars per intersection using cell phones per two minute interval to calculate frequency data.
Data was considered reliable if both sets of data were within +/- 2 occurrences. The data remained reliable within an 87-100% range. In the research study conducted by Dimmich (2005), three cases studies were analyzed in which driving was affected by the distractibility posed by a mobile telephone device in use. The study primarily focused on drivers that were still “on the clock,” and completing work related tasks, such as conducting phone calls relating to work, or actually driving as a part of the job.
The publishers followed the legal cases in which three separate individuals were involved in a car accident, and the result was that the employer was sued due to the employee’s actions. In all three cases, the distractions caused property damage, fatality, or injury. The immediate relevance of the studies are the conclusions set forth by the publishers that driving a car, and mobile devices concurrently, increases your chances a vehicle car crash by up to four times (Dimmich, 2005).
The analysis conducted by the publisher indicated that in most cases, if not all, the drivers were distracted by their phone conversation and not anything leading up or following the conversation (Dimmich, 2005). The overall consensus of the study provides a decisive stance against utilizing mobile devices while driving. Furthermore, the publishers ascertain that a hands free device in fact does not minimize the dramatic effects a cellular phone yields; the conversation itself proves to be sufficient enough to provide distraction levels that cause drivers to swerve from lane to lane, veer of the road, and ultimately crash (Dimmich, 2005).
The research study published in “Inattention Blindness: Behind The Wheel” by Strayer, et al. (year here) in “Cell Phone-Induced Failures of Visual Attention During Simulated Driving” analyzed the effects of visual distractions while participants engaged in simulated driving studies of conversations with hands-free cell phones. The main topics researched included the legislation already set in place regarding cell phone use whilst driving, what kind of phone was used (hand-held, or hands-free), and the level of strain during the conversation.
Researching all of these factors contributes to the overall conclusion of drivers being distracted by mobile devices. The main findings of this research study show that participants experienced inattention-blindness that Strayer et al. summarize is a distraction as a result of having conversations on hands-free cell phones while simulantiously driving, to which it impairs the drivers inability to cognitively perceive and remember visual stimuli while paying attention to them. Phone conversations have greatly altered the way drivers pay attentions to the stimuli in their surrounding environments.
The participants in each experiment ranged from ages 18 – 25 that were separated into men vs. women, typically more men than women in each group. The procedures that were done in the studies prove that the in depth research “demonstrates that conversations on a hands-free cell phone impairs both explicit recognition memory of visual stimuli and implicit perceptual memory of works presented at fixation (Strayer, 2003). Among the four studies, they changed each time the specific visual stimuli that was analyzed by the
participants. At first it was very broad, participants couldn’t focus or remember specific traffic signals and that phone conversations greatly interfered with everyday traffic. Then through analyzing a more specific visual stimulus that the participants were supposed to have remembered, Experiments 3 and 4 showed similar results as compared to Experiments 1 and 2. This concludes that inattention-blindness not only applies to traffic signals, but even very large stimuli such as billboards.
Phone conversations with hand-free phones can provide to be a huge distraction driving conditions, or traffic; affected ones’ driving, it also affected the conversation that was taking place. Single-task vs. dual-task provides different results comparatively. Single-task conditions provide less stimuli the drive has to simultaneously divide their attention among as compared to dual-task to which according to Strayer et al. the “conditional probability analysis revealed that participants were more than twice as likely to recognize billboards presented in the single-task condition that in the dual-task condition, t(19) = 4.
53” (Strayer, 2003). Overall all four experiments analyzed showed that was a significant loss of attention to visual stimuli during every day driving simulation scenario and is redistributed to the conversation at hand. The importance of this research provides considerable thought to how impaired memory recollection of stimuli as obvious as large billboard can be generalized to all types of stimuli in a drivers environment. A decrease in the cognitive processing of drivers in their environment offers a good explanation for why drivers’ responses times are often slow to react in response to unexpected events that occur while driving.
“Thus the data suggests that cell phone conversations interfere with the automatic attention –capturing properties of sudden onset stimuli occurring in the driving environment” (Strayer, 2003). The research article by Drews and Strayer (2007) attempts to provide evidence that cell phone conversations impair driving by restricting the focus of attention to driving. A series of four studies were performed, using a computerized driving simulator. Participants were not described, so it may be assumed that participants were of legal driving age and up, and assorted in ethnicity, nationality, gender.
Participants underwent each study in a single-task condition and a dual-task condition. The dual-task condition included the use of a hands-free headset instead of just a normal cellphone, and conversations were started before the study began, to ensure that only the cellphone conversation was part of the dual-task condition and manual interaction with the cell phone did not interfere. The first study focused on participants being able to memorize objects after seeing them on the road.
Analysis revealed that participants were more than twice as likely to recognize roadway signs encountered in the single-task condition than in the dual-task condition (Drews & Strayer, 2007). The second study examined how drivers are able to change priority of focus from less-relevant information from driving to cell phone conversation while still maintaining high priority of focus to relevant information from driving. Participants performed a memory test to determine recognition of various objects that were in the driving simulations and ones that were not.
Like in the first study, participants had much better results during the single-task condition. Participants were also required to rate objects according to safety relevance. Participants rated objects in a range of 1. 5 to 8, with an average of 4. 1, showing that there was no association between the recognition of objects and traffic safety relevance. These results showed that drivers do not reallocate focus in driving and cell phone use relative to safety. The third study recorded measures of brain activity elicited during driving by measuring the amplitude of the P300 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP).
Participants drove on a simulated freeway, following a pace car that would brake at random intervals. The P300 of the ERP was 50% lower in dual-task conditions than single-task, meaning drivers who are using the cell phone are not able to encode information as well as if they are not. The fourth study contrasted conversation with a friend via hands-free cell phone and conversation with the friend as passenger in the car. It was hypothesized that the conversations would be different because passengers tend to change conversation based on driving difficulty. Passengers also help the driver by assisting in navigation, etc.
Participants were required to navigate at a rest stop from the freeway in the condition of using a hands-free cellphone, and another condition had a passenger to help with navigation. Results of the study showed that 88% of drivers talking with a passenger successfully navigated to the rest stop, while 50% of drivers talking on the cell phone failed to make it to the rest stop (Drews & Strayer, 2007). All four studies provided results which support the hypothesis that cell phone usage impairs driving. Recognition memory and brain encoding were negatively affected by the use of the hands-free cellphone while driving.
Forms of conversation carried within the car were shown not to have as much of an effect on driving. More information regarding the population pool, and if the studies were taken with participants driving on the road instead of in a simulation may have altered results. In a study performed by Drews, Pasupathi, and Strayer (2008), the task of driving can be broken into three parts: an operational task, a tactical task, and a strategic task. In an operational task, the primary focus of driving is to maintain the positioning of the vehicle on the road in a pre-determined direction.
When a tactical task is performed, this demonstrates maneuverability of the vehicle through traffic, such as lane changes. A strategic task involves the execution of navigational tasks, such as turning at a pre-determined intersection, or taking an exit off of a freeway. When cell phones are introduced into this three part process, there is a direct connection between failures, short sightings, and deficit levels. In this study, the researchers randomly chose 96 participants. These participants consisted of forty-seven women and forty-nine men.
All of the participants had normal color vision, and normal or correctable to normal vision. Age range of the participants was between 18 and 49. The mean of these ages was 20, and all had a Utah state driver’s license. To test the difference between the effects of cell phone driving and the effects of having an in-car passenger conversation, all 96 participants were divided into pairs, creating 48 pairs of participants. To test the operational task of driving, researchers studied how well the driving participants stayed in their lane while either on a cell phone, or in-car conversation with their partner participant.
To test the tactical task, the speed of the car was analyzed during these conversations as well as the average distance between the participant’s car, and another car in front of them. Finally, to test the strategic task, participants were instructed to take a given exit off of a freeway, while maintaining a conversation with their partner participant. Drivers who where having a cell phone conversation while performing the operational task showed a higher tendency of lane drifting in comparison to their other counterparts who had less of a tendency of drifting while having an in-car conversation with their passenger.
During the two- part tactical task studying speed and distance, cell phone use and passenger conversations did not have an effect on the rate of speed. However, it was noted that the distance between cars for drivers on their cell phones was further away than that of drivers with their partner participants in the car. This is due to the overcompensation of the cell phone using driver. In the last task, researchers discovered that drivers were four times more likely to fail at strategically taking a navigational direction, than those who were having a conversation in the car with the passenger.
In a survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, of all survey participants, over two-thirds said they had seen a driver texting or using their phone within the past 30 days. 94% of those surveyed had seen drivers using their handheld cell phones while driving. In 2009, the Department of Transportation reported over five thousand people were killed in motor vehicle accidents, and more than half a million were injured. Of the five thousand people killed in motor vehicle accidents, 18% were determined to be caused by the use of a cellular device while one of the drivers was driving.
When performing their survey, the Consumer Reports National Research Center participants stated that over 63% of drivers surveyed on their phones making calls, and one-third were seen texting while driving, were less than thirty years of age. In comparison to drivers over thirty years of age, 41% were seen making calls, and 9% were seen texting. According to the Department of Transportation, of all teenagers involved in fatal car crashes, 16% were distracted by cell phones while driving. In 2006, another study was done, sponsored by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
The VTTI found that roughly 80% of all motor vehicle accidents were caused by driver inattention blindness, where the driver is essentially blinded to their environmental surroundings due to being distracted by an object, such as a cell phone. Later, in 2009, the VTTI found that a driver physically dialing a phone while driving was six times more likely to be involved in an accident. Truck drivers were twenty-three times more likely to cause an accident in a similar situation. The Research paper published in Ergonomics by Collet, et al. summarized the effects of having distractions while driving.
The main topics researched included the legislation already set in place regarding cell phone use whilst driving, what kind of phone was used (hand-held, or hands-free), and the level of strain during the conversation. Researching all of these factors contributes to the overall conclusion of drivers being distracted by mobile devices. One of the most interesting conclusions drawn from this study is that Collet et al. were able to conclusively summarize that it is in fact the distraction caused by the conversation itself that was the main distractor.
Methodologies that were included in the study and proved evidence for the previous conclusion were the comparison of people being distracted by conversation in the car or on the phone (collet, 2008). In each case, the conditions were changed to assure that independent variables were not yielding skewed results; the driving conditions were changed as well as hands-free versus hand-held devices versus in person conversations. Independent variable analysis showed that not only did the distractions such as driving conditions, or traffic; affected ones driving, it also affected the conversation that was taking place.
Factors such as age play a significant role according to Collet’s findings. Younger drivers comprise only 14 percent of the total driver population; the number of fatally accidents involving young drivers is twice that amount, however. Other factors explored that were inconclusive were gender, driver experience, and the depth of the conversation at hand. It is important to note that the findings were such that having a more stressful conversation played a crucial role in distraction while driving (collet, 2008).
Stimpson and Wilson put together statistics of distracted driving fatalities from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) dating from 1999 to 2008 and put together statistics of cellphone subscriptions and texting volume in order to determine if cell phone usage is an underlying cause of distracted driving amongst individuals. There were no direct participants involved in the research paper, but the FARS provides information on every accident that has at least 1 fatality, including gender, ethnicity, age, previous violation, type of collision, and location of crash.
A fatality was defined as being caused by distraction if a driver-related accident factor was recorded as being emotional, inattentive, or careless, or using a cellular phone, computer, or fax machine, or on-board navigation or heads-up display system and a total of 51,857 fatalities were caused by driver distraction from 1999 to 2008 (Stimpson & Wilson, 2010). Results include a trend report comparing fatalities due to distracted driving, and number of cell phone subscribers per capita. Fatalities due to distracted driving grew high as 13.
4% of all driving fatalities from in 2003, then saw a decline to 10. 5% in 2005, then saw a rapid increase to 15. 8% (Stimpson & Wilson, 2010). Cellphone subscribers grew steadily in a linear pattern and cannot be determined as the cause of the volatile patterns seen from the fatalities due to distracted driving. On the other hand, number of texts sent per month grew exponentially from 2005 to 2008. The results show that fatal crashes due to driver distractions have increased recently and also show that cell phone subscribers and texting have increased over the years.
The correlations between the results suggest that the rapid increases in texting volume have resulted in many of the fatal accidents. The article was limited in that FARS does not show if fatality due to distracted driving occurred from cell phone usage or other distractions. It was also limited in that injuries from accidents were not taken into account, and there are many more accidents that result in injury than accidents that result in fatalities. Ashcraft, M. H. & Radvansky, G. A. (2010). Cognition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Print. Collet, C. , A. Guillot, and C. Petit.
“Phoning While Driving II: A Review of Driving Conditions Influence. ” Ergonomics 53. 5 (2010): 602-16. Retrieved from PsychInfo. Dimmich, DinkelackerD. , Thomas H. , Guldin, T. H. & P. Brienza, P. (2005). “Driving distracted while in your employ: liability involving cell phones. ” The Psychologist-manager Journal 8. 2 (2005): 165-75. Retrieved from PsychInfo. Orlowske, Lori L. L. & Luyben, P. aul D. (2009). Risky behavior: cell phone use while driving. Retrieved from PsychInfo. Where is journal name? Strayer, D. , F. Drews, F. & W. Johnston, W.. (2003). “Cell phone-induced failures of visual attention during simulated driving.
” Ergonomics 9. 1 (2003): 23-32. Retrieved from PsychInfo. Strayer, D. L. , & Drews, F. A. , (2007). Cell-phone-induced driver distraction. Association for Psychological Science, 16(3), 128-131. Retrieved from PsychInfo. Strayer, D. L. , Paupathi, MonishaM. , & Drews, F. A. , (2007). Passenger and cell phone conversations in simulated driving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14(4), 392-400. Retrieved from PsychInfo. Wilson, F. A. , & Stimpson, J. P. (2010). Trends in fatalities from distracted driving in the united states, 1999 to 2008. American Journal of Public Health, 100, 2213-2219.
Driving distracted. (2011). Consumer Reports. 22-25. Retrieved from consumerreports. com. Grading notes: I really like the topic you have chosen and I’m glad you wrote out your particular hypotheses for this paper. Improvement areas 1) take a look at the OWL site that I suggested your read to check some of your citations in the text and the reference section 2) make sure to only use quotations in the text when it’s something really key to get across and there isn’t a way to summarize it easily. 3) move your hypothese section to the end of the introcuction Grade: 32/33 points