Gender effects in mobile phone distraction from driving

Recent research using a driving simulation task examined the effects of conversing over a mobile phone to that of conversing with a passenger in the number of errors made by the driver. This study noted a gender difference in that female drivers appeared to be more distracted when conversing on a mobile phone than did the male drivers; and that the male drivers appeared to be more distracted when conversing with a passenger. A second study examined the question of why a gender difference might exist for mobile phone conversations and varied the content of the conversation so that it was either cognitive or emotive in nature. This manipulation not only confirmed the previous finding that female drivers make more errors than do male drivers but also found that the patterns of responses in terms of type of errors made differed for male and female drivers. Overall both males and females made more errors when the conversation was emotive rather than cognitive in content, especially so for the female drivers. Female drivers were particularly prone to making lateral or lane position errors and there was a tendency for the male drivers to make more errors of a longitudinal or temporal type. These studies are aimed at gaining a better understanding of the apparent gender specificity of some sources of distraction for young drivers, with a view to better targeting safety messages to this at-risk group of drivers. (a) For the covering entry of this conference, please see ITRD abstract no. E217713.

  • Authors:
    • IRWIN, J
    • GEAGHAN, L
  • Publication Date: 2007-8


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01143904
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 16 2009 12:12PM