CONISAR Proceedings 2017

CONISAR Proceedings 2017

Austin, Texas

Conference Highlights

2017 CONISAR Proceedings - Abstract Presentation

Multitasking Behaviors: Distracted Driving Threats Beyond Texting

Dawn Medlin
Appalachian State University

Hoon Choi
Appalachian State University

Jason Xiong
Appalachian State University

Mobile distractions can be defined as any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. There has been a significant increase in motor vehicle crashes that have resulted from driver inattention. Activities that were once an occasional occurrence are now becoming habit. Multitasking behaviors that involve mobile distractions are increasing. With more than 266 million cell phone users in the U.S. as of 2017, and a growing number of devices and services designed to keep individuals constantly connected, technology is playing an important role in all aspects of human life, one of which is driving (e-Marketer, 2017). Driving is a highly complex task that involves many sensory functions as well as psychomotor skills. Texting as well as performing other mobile distractive activities such as talking on the phone and performing directional searches while driving is a disturbingly common and dangerous behavior. The amplified use of mobile phones along with the increased triggers and pressures of work and family life have transformed multitasking from occasional usage to a habit (Adler & Benbunan-Fich, 2015). It is not unusual today to observe drivers texting, calling, using navigational tools, and social media all while attempting to drive. Other researchers have reported that nearly 10% of drivers reported involved in a motor vehicle accident was related to distracted driving. Additional studies by Cook and Jones (2011) suggested that there is a significant positive relationship between cell phone behaviors and traffic citations and crashes. Even for experienced drivers, the risk of a crash or near-crash increased significantly if they were dialing on a cell phone (Klauer et al., 2014). Researchers have used multitasking theory to show that when switching from one task to another that an end user not only is more inefficient, but have shown that even small switches can take one-tenth of a second up to 40 seconds. During that period, simple driving switches from one task to another can create actions such as lane changes or even fatal car crashes. Therefore, using multitasking behavior theory we can examine the time involved in several activities that have not been thoroughly researched. Although the previous studies examined the impact of mobile distraction on driving performance and safety, they mainly focused on the impact of texting while driving or used survey sampling rather than that of simulation driving and distractive mobile activities. These activities are particularly potent yet increasingly other forms of distractions are offered through advanced mobile technologies such as navigational maps, social media, shopping, watching a video, or selfie-ing. In addition, natural language interface such as Siri and Google Now offer opportunities to use voice commands to operate mobile devices while driving, introducing an additional threat to driving safety. However, the impact of these new technologies on driving performance and safety has been rarely addressed in the literature.

Adler, R. F., & Benbunan-Fich, R. (2015). The effects of task difficulty and multitasking on performance. Interacting with Computers, 27(4), 430-439. Cook, J. L., & Jones, R. M. (2011). Texting and accessing the web while driving: traffic citations and crashes among young adult drivers. Traffic injury prevention, 12(6), 545-549. E-Marketer. (2017). US Mobile StatPack 2017: An Atlas of eMarketer Forecasts to Keep at Your Fingertips All Year Long. (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2017, from Klauer, S. G., Guo, F., Simons-Morton, B. G., Ouimet, M. C., Lee, S. E., & Dingus, T. A. (2014). Distracted driving and risk of road crashes among novice and experienced drivers. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(1), 54-59.

Recommended Citation: Medlin, D., Choi, H., Xiong, J., (2017). Multitasking Behaviors: Distracted Driving Threats Beyond Texting. Proceedings of the Conference on Information Systems Applied Research, v.10 n.4577, Austin, Texas