Investigating “Texting while Driving” Behavior at Different Roadway Configurations Using a Driving Simulator Setting

This study investigates the safety impact of distracted driving (texting while driving) for different roadway configurations (intersections, segments, freeways, and roundabouts; urban, suburban, and rural sections; and straight and curved road cross-sections) and various lighting conditions (nighttime and daytime) using a driving simulator. The study took place at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY. Fifty participants (30 young adults, 18 to 25?years old; 20 middle-/old age adults, 26 to 70?years old) drove the simulator, for approximately 10?min each. Video recordings and behavior observations (e.g., recording single longest off-road eye glance while texting and driving) were further documented. While texting and driving at the roundabout, significant differences were found between the mean lane positions of the young and middle-/old age groups. Additionally, a slightly higher speed variance for middle-/old age drivers existed while texting and driving on freeways during the daytime compared with their younger counterparts. Comparisons with the safe stopping sight distance revealed potential safety risks for all texting while driving situations for both age groups compared with nontexting situations. On average, participants with a higher distracted-driving crash-risk expended 0.676 more seconds glancing off-road than lower distracted-driving crash-risk participants. Furthermore, on average, lower-risk participants had a 3.99?mph speed standard deviation compared with the 5.34?mph speed standard deviation of higher-risk participants. It should be noted that the top five higher-risk drivers were from the middle/older population, whereas the top five lower-risk drivers were from the younger population.

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    • The opinions, findings, and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors. © National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2021.
  • Authors:
    • Al Aufi, Ayuob
    • Schmidt, Cole
    • Goetz, Jackson
    • Haleem, Kirolos
  • Publication Date: 2022-3


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01787223
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 2 2021 12:46PM