Changing Drivers’ Attitudes towards Mobile Phone Use through Participative Simulation Testing and Feedback

Although studies have shown that mobile phone use is detrimental to driving safety, many drivers might not realize the risk or may believe that they have sufficient skills to handle the challenge. This paper assesses the effectiveness of a simulation-based participative and feedback approach to change drivers' attitudes towards mobile phone use while driving. Thirty experienced drivers in China were tested. Five scenarios were developed to test drivers' performance with and without a secondary mobile phone task on a medium-fidelity fixed base driving simulator. The treatment group received feedback in the form of video playback of their driving performance, while the control group did not receive any feedback. Attitudes towards mobile phone use were assessed by a questionnaire before, immediately after, and again one month following the experiment to determine the duration of feedback effects. All 30 drivers reported willingness to engage in driving and talking on a mobile phone in some situations. The results of the simulated driving test showed that a secondary mobile phone task significantly degraded driving performance. The treatment group showed significant attitude change towards mobile phone use while driving; the control group had no attitude change. The change in the treatment group was sustained after one month. These findings indicate that feedback in the form of simulation playback is effective in demonstrating the degradation of driving performance from mobile phone use and can make a lasting change in drivers' attitudes.


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  • Accession Number: 01149211
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 26 2010 10:09PM