The effects of texting and driving on hazard perception
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Burge, R., & Chaparro, A. (2010). The effects of texting and driving on hazard perception. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 56(1), 715-719.
Hazard perception has received little attention compared to measures of vehicle control in studies exploring the effects of texting on driving performance, despite being a more direct measure of crash risk. Furthermore, the driver strategies attempting to moderate such distraction are not well understood. The current study attempts to address these two facets of texting while driving. Participants (10 male; 10 female) drove a low fidelity simulator that measures situational awareness, while text messaging in order to assess hazard perception performance. Participants were required to identify and appropriately respond to events that would result in a collision. Two text message conditions (i.e., copying and alphabetizing a 5-letter string) were used to compare low vs. high cognitive load, respectively. Participants missed more hazards in the alphabetize-text compared to the copy-text and driving only conditions. Signal Detection Theory (SDT) analyses revealed the adoption of a more liberal response bias (B") (i.e., participants increased false) when required to copy the text message but not when required to alphabetize. Last, participants were slower to react to hazards in the alphabetize-text condition compared to the copy-text and driving only conditions. These findings suggest that the impact of text messaging on the detection of driving hazards depends in part, on the cognitive load imposed by the text messaging task and the adoption of strategies to compensate for the interference on the driving task.
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