Four driving scenarios were used, each lasting six minutes and including, in random order, 12 cues to the driver to move to the right lane and 12 more to move left.
In two scenarios, the simulator drivers did not talk on cell phones and received direction instructions either from the simulator's computer voice or via the fingertip devices on the steering wheel. In the two other scenarios, the drivers talked on cell phones with a person in the laboratory and also received direction instructions, either from the computer voice or from the touch devices on the steering wheel.
Each participant did all four of the scenarios. The results:
Strayer says the findings shouldn't be used to encourage cell phone use while driving because even if giving drivers directional information by touch works, "it's not going to help you with the other things you need to do while driving watching out for pedestrians, noticing traffic lights, all the things you need to pay attention to."
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University of Utah