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A meta-analysis of driving performance associated with the use of cellular telephones while driving: Results and methodological implications.

Caird, J K, Scialfa, C T, Ho, G, Smiley, A, Faulks, I, Regan, M, Stevenson, M, Brown, J, Porter, A, Irwin, J

Driver Risk & Behaviour

ACRS conference 2005

Currently, 45 countries have implemented bans on using cell phones while driving. Policy makers must weigh the benefits of using cell phones while driving against the growing literature suggesting negative impacts for a variety of activities. A synthesis of the research in this area can provide useful guidance for those who seek to base their policies on available science.

This paper addresses the effects of cell phones on driving performance by means of a review of the literature and an analysis of scientifically credible epidemiological and driver performance studies. A total of 69 articles were obtained covering the period 1969–2005 that measured driving performance while using a cell phone.

Based on an initial review of this literature, the analysis focused on twenty two performance studies of sufficient quality which were used to answer four questions.

1. Does conversation on cell phones, whether hand-held or hands-free, influence driving performance?

2. Are there differences in findings among computer-based studies, driving simulator studies and on-road studies?

3. Does performance differ between hand-held and hands-free cell phones?

4. Are some age groups more susceptible to negative influences of cell phone use on driving?

Each question is briefly discussed either here or in the presentation, whereas the full technical report can be found at the url listed in the reference section (Caird et al., 2004).

The discussion about methods is expanded to address gaps in existing cellular telephone research and to anticipate analogous issues that face the integration of other technologies into the automobile.