Changes in Driver Behaviour as a Function of Handsfree Mobile Phones--A Simulator Study

Accid Anal Prev. 1994 Aug;26(4):441-51. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(94)90035-3.

Abstract

The effects of a mobile telephone task on drivers' reaction time, lane position, speed level, and workload were studied in two driving conditions (an easy or rather straight versus a hard or very curvy route). It was predicted that the mobile telephone task would have a negative effect on drivers' reaction time, lane position, and workload and lead to a reduction of speed. It was also predicted that the effects would be stronger for the hard driving task. The study was conducted in the VTI driving simulator. A total of 40 subjects, experienced drivers aged 23 to 61, were randomly assigned to four experimental conditions (telephone and easy or hard driving task versus control and easy or hard driving task). Contrary to the predictions, the strongest effects were found when the subjects were exposed to the easy driving task. In the condition where drivers had to perform the easy driving task, findings showed that a mobile telephone task had a negative effect on reaction time and led to a reduction of the speed level. In the condition where drivers had to perform the hard driving task, findings showed that a mobile telephone task had an effect only on the drivers' lateral position. Finally, the mobile telephone task led to an increased workload for both the easy and the hard driving task. The results are discussed in terms of which subtask, car driving or telephone task, the subjects gave the highest priority. Some implications for information systems in future cars are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Environment, Controlled
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reaction Time*
  • Telephone*
  • Workload / psychology