Systematic review of observational studies on secondary task engagement while driving

The last decade has seen a worldwide exponential increase in the use of mobile information systems, especially smartphones. This trend covers all areas of life, and also seems to include phone use while driving. In order to assess the scope of secondary task occupation, especially smartphone use while driving, observation studies from outside the car have been established as an efficient and valid method. A review of international studies using traffic observation was done finding 51 publications with a total of 117 observation studies with more than 1,800,000 single observations at more than 17,500 sites from nine different countries. The review describes the relevant aspects of the observation methods and gives an overview about the trends found in the data. As the methods differ widely over the years as well as between the countries and studies, an integration of the results is not possible. However, from all studies it is very clear that smartphone use has increased including not only phoning while driving but also, more important to traffic safety, using apps and texting on the smartphone. Additional observable secondary tasks were only rarely examined. Thus, further research using observational studies is strongly recommended. Suggestions are given with regard to the methodology which can contribute to get comparable and valid results across countries and studies.


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  • Accession Number: 01678917
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 28 2018 3:03PM