The effect of phone use upon the perceptual responses of drivers is likely to constitute a greater threat to safety than its interference with vehicle control. First, perceptual processes play a far greater role in automobile accidents than does vehicle control. "Improper outlook" and "inattention" are the two leading contributors to automobile accidents. Second, the extent that celluar telephone calling interferes with vehicle control can be reduced by calling aids and by placing calls only when conditions permit relaxation of vehicle control requirements. The effect of phone use upon perceptual processes, however, is not so readily ameliorated. There is nothing that can be done to the phone to lessen the disruptive effect that mere telephone conversation seems to have on perceptual processes. No one can arrange to schedule telephone conversaions around what are primarily unpredictable perceptual tasks. Third, among the population whose driving is most effective by telephone use, the older drivers, it is the perceptual processes that undergo the greatest decline. Research has shown significant age-related decrement in general attention, selective attention, attention sharing, and spatial judgment.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 23 p.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00611578
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 30 1991 12:00AM