Determining the effects of texting while driving

Researcher: Christine Yager

Sponsor:  Southwest Region University Transportation Center

In the first study conducted in an on-road environment with an actual vehicle, researchers examined the effect of both sending and receiving text messages while driving. The goals of this effort were to better understand the distraction potential of texting while driving, to determine how texting behavior varies according to driving demands, and to consider the effects of driver age and experience in texting while driving. Findings from the study confirmed previous research that suggested text messaging while driving results in slower response time and the higher likelihood of a crash. More specifically, results showed that writing a text message resulted in reaction times 2.5 times slower than not text messaging. Reading text messages delayed reaction time by a factor of 1.9. Research also found that text messaging while operating a vehicle affected driving speed and lane position.

For more information contact Christine Yager.