A. Benedetto, A. Calvi, F. D’Amico

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Pages: 29-44

Mobile phone use while driving is increasing among road users. Although the most of countries made illegal the cell phone use while driving, the drivers still use it both for calling and texting. Several studies investigated the distraction factors related to the use of mobile while driving and the effects on road safety. The main findings of these studies generally demonstrated an increasing of reaction time and decreasing of driving performance especially during not critical driving conditions, while the evaluation of the effects of mobile use during critical driving conditions is not so much investigates. The overall objective of this work is to contribute to the evaluation of the effects of the mobile phone use on driving safety. Specifically the effects of using cellular phone at the same time the driver is faced with making a critical stopping decision are investigated. The experiments are carried out using an interactive driving simulator. Three different road scenarios (urban road, rural road and motorway) are simulated. Thirty subjects take part to the experiments and drive four times each scenario: one time without calling (control scenario) and the other three times answering the calls by hand-held mobile, hands-free mobile and hands-free voice device. The driver’s reaction time, the deceleration rate, the speed and the following distance are evaluated. The main effects of driving and calling are observed in the urban scenario, where the decreasing of driving performance is much more evident than in the rural and motorway scenario. Not significant differences on driving performances are found across the three telephone modes.

Keywords: mobile phone; hand-held; hands-free; reaction time; driving simulator