Staying Connected on the Road: A Comparison of Different Types of Smart Phone Use in a Driving SimulatorReportar como inadecuado

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Previous research on smart phone use while driving has primarily focused on phone calls and texting. Drivers are now increasingly using their phone for other activities during driving, in particular social media, which have different cognitive demands. The present study compared the effects of four different smart phone tasks on car-following performance in a driving simulator. Phone tasks were chosen that vary across two factors: interaction medium text vs image and task pacing self-paced vs experimenter-paced and were as follows: Text messaging with the experimenter text-other-paced, reading Facebook posts text-self-paced, exchanging photos with the experimenter via Snapchat image, experimenter -paced, and viewing updates on Instagram image, experimenter -paced. Drivers also performed a driving only baseline. Brake reaction times BRTs were significantly greater in the text-based conditions Mean = 1.16 s as compared to both the image-based conditions Mean = 0.92 s and the baseline 0.88 s. There was no significant difference between BRTs in the image-based and baseline conditions and there was no significant effect of task-pacing. Similar results were obtained for Time Headway variability. These results are consistent with the picture superiority effect found in memory research and suggest that image-based interfaces could provide safer ways to -stay connected- while driving than text-based interfaces.

Autor: Jaimie McNabb, Rob Gray



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