Cell Phones And Talking To Passengers Both Lead To Distracted Driving

By Chuck Dinerstein

Using a cell phone while driving is considered bad form, 47 states ban texting, 15 states prohibit hand-held cell phone use, and oddly enough a few states restrict these bans only to novice drivers – presumably because multi-tasking is a skill we can learn. A meta-analysis in the journal Human Factors updates what we know about using cell phones while driving.

The analysis considered only experimental studies, no surveys or epidemiological reports. They looked at studies examining driving performance, in traffic situations or scenarios, and more specifically at driving while talking – that includes all conversations, on the phone and with passengers. The studies had to have a baseline measuring of driving without conversation. 93 papers make up the meta-analysis, 106 experimental situations involving a little under 4,400 drivers.  They looked at a variety of driving-related behaviors including the perception of hazards; highway speed and distance between cars, the position of the car within the lane and driver eye movements… (Read More)