An Exploratory Study of Cell Phone Use While Driving

Document Type


Publication Date

April 2010

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Elaine Long


As cell phone use increases, so does cell phone use while driving; “86% of cell-phone owners reported talking while driving at least occasionally” (Seo & Torabi, 2004). Current literature shows that cell phone use while driving negatively affects driving performance. It slows reaction times by 18%, increases following distance by 12%, and decreases recovery of speed after braking by 17% (Strayer & Drews, 2004). The purpose of this research was to evaluate the use of cell phones while driving by Boise area residents. This study was conducted using both observations and a survey developed by the researchers in the HLTHST 482 course. A nine question survey was administered to a convenience sample of 148 Boise area residents to assess their current behaviors and attitudes toward cell phone use while driving. Data from the administered surveys indicate that people see texting as more dangerous, compared to talking on a cell phone, while driving. Attitudes towards the risk of using a cell phone while driving seemed to increase with age. Researchers observed 1,532 drivers in various locations in the Boise area and found a 10% prevalence of cell phone use while driving. Overall, the data supports that people use their cell phone while driving at least occasionally. This study was reviewed and approved by the Boise State Human Subjects Research and Institutional Review Board # 193-10-023.

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