Don’t Drive and Talk (on the phone at least)

New research published by the University of Iowa  adds to the growing body of research that reveal why talking on your cell phone while driving is dangerous.

Research conducted by Brian Lester and Shaun Vecera, from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences shows that there is a .04 second delay in response time to questions asked of a driver while they were behind the wheel, or at least behind a simulated wheel.

In the novel design, the participants were asked to focus on a screen and were then asked a true/false question as a high speed camera tracked how long it took them to disengage and track a new object that appeared on the screen.

Since over 3,000 people die each year in car crashes related to cell phone use while driving and over 390,000 people injured, the “attentional disengagement” caused by distracted driving is an important topic to be studied.

Teachers in psychology, health, parents and drivers education instructors will find this article useful.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Where did Vecera first publish research on older adults and driving?
  2. What were the results?
  3. Are Lester and Vecera’s results limited to cell-phone use?
  4. Why would we want to know how many subjects were studied in this research?
  5. How do you think the author’s would define “attentional disengagement?”
  6. What would be additional follow-up research you might want to conduct?

For source material written by Richard C. Lewis, please click here.




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