A Summary of Two Surveys on the Psychological Predictors of Self-Reported Distracted Driving

Abstract: We conducted two surveys of Americans who reported that they drive at least 3 times per week and own a smartphone. We asked them about distracted driving behaviors, risk perceptions of distracted driving, attitudes towards driving and their cell phones, and their attitudes towards methods of reducing distracted driving behavior.

Authors: Brittany Shoots-Reinhard, Ellen Peters

Date: November 2018

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The Psychology of Distracted Driving and Working Toward Reducing Driver Distraction

Abstract: Distracted driving is a leading contributor to motor vehicle accidents, and it is estimated to cause thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries per year in the United States. We conducted two surveys of U.S. drivers to study the psychological underpinnings of distracted driving. We considered a number of possible causes including 1) underestimation of distracted driving risks, 2) affective reactions to causes and consequences of distracted driving, 3) motivated denial of risks of distracted driving, 4) overconfidence in driving ability, and 5) perceived acceptability of distracted driving. We also examined support for a variety of methods of distraction reduction and began investigating ways to increase support for distraction mitigation. We found evidence of multiple independent predictors toward self-reported distracted driving, variability in support for distraction mitigation, and confirmed that the language used to describe mitigation strategies influences support.

Presentation at the Community Engagement Conference. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, January 23–24, 2019.

Authors: Brittany Shoots-Reinhard, Ellen Peters

Date: January 23, 2019

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Does Built Environment Affect the Frequency and Severity of Vehicle Crashes Caused by Distracted Driving: An Empirical Evidence from Ohio

Abstract: This study evaluates the influences of built environment on the frequency and severity of vehicle crashes with focuses on a comparative analysis between the crashes caused by distracted driving and non-distracted driving. Using a comprehensive dataset with 1.4 million crash records in Ohio for the period 2013 – 2017 as an example, the relationships between built environments and the frequency and severity of vehicle crashes caused by distracted driving were examined using negative binomial regression and generalized order logit regression methods. Our study reveals that built environments, such as the length of a roadway segment, number of lanes, the location of the road (being in an urban area) have positive associations with crash frequencies. Conversely, other road features, such as median and a shoulder with asphalt pavement were found to have negative associations with crash frequencies caused by distracted driving. The outcomes of severity analysis confirm that distracted driving related crashes tend to be more severe than non-distracted driving related crashes in certain road environments. In particular, vehicle crashes caused by distracted driving were found to be more severe if the accident occurs at work zones or on interstate highways. On the other hand, roundabout was confirmed to be effective in reducing crash severities in general, but with a more significant effect on mitigating the severity of DD related crashes.

Authors: Zhenhua Chen, Youngbin Lym

Date: Summer 2018

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