SWOV Catalogus

345876

Drivers’ phone use at red traffic lights : a roadside observation study comparing calls and visual–manual interactions.
20210078 ST [electronic version only]
Huth, V. Sanchez, Y. & Brusque, C.
Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 74 (January 2015), p. 42-48, ref.

Samenvatting Phone use while driving has become one of the priority issues in road safety, given that it may lead to decreased situation awareness and deteriorated driving performance. It has been suggested that drivers can regulate their exposure to secondary tasks and seek for compatibility of phone use and driving. Phone use strategies include the choice of driving situations with low demands and interruptions of the interaction when the context changes. Traffic light situations at urban intersections imply both a temptation to use the phone while waiting at the red traffic light and a potential threat due to the incompatibility of phone use and driving when the traffic light turns green. These two situations were targeted in a roadside observation study, with the aim to investigate the existence of a phone use strategy at the red traffic light and to test its effectiveness. N = 124 phone users and a corresponding control group of non-users were observed. Strategic phone use behaviour was detected for visual–manual interactions, which are more likely to be initiated at the red traffic light and tend to be stopped before the vehicle moves off, while calls are less likely to be limited to the red traffic light situation. As an indicator of impaired situation awareness, delayed start was associated to phone use and in particular to visual–manual interactions, whether phone use was interrupted before moving off or not. Traffic light situations do not seem to allow effective application of phone use strategies, although drivers attempt to do so for the most demanding phone use mode. The underlying factors of phone use need to be studied so as to reduce the temptation of phone use and facilitate exposure regulation strategies. (Author/publisher)
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