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Texting While Driving

Compiled by Marian G. Rogers, February 2010

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Distracted driving takes many forms, including vehicle operators' use of cell phones for text messaging. Recent research* which studied eye glance while driving, found that texting drivers looked away from the roadway an average of 4.6 seconds out of the 6 seconds preceding critical safety or accident events. This research finding means: at 55 mph, a vehicle will have travelled over 100 yards without the driver looking at the roadway. Concern about the danger of texting while driving has prompted a groundswell of legislation in the states. The federal government has implemented restrictions on use of personal electronic devices by railroad operating employees and texting by commercial interstate truck and motor bus drivers. This bibliography contains news articles and research reports as well as general information and Web resources on distracted driving as it relates to text messaging.

Cell Phones and Driving: Research Update / AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. December 2008. (384.1/Am3) www.aaafoundation.org/multimedia/index.cfm?button=researchreports

Driven to Distraction: Technological Devices and Vehicle Safety / Anne T. McCartt, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. November 4, 2009. (380.77/In7b) "Statement before the Joint Hearing of the [U.S. House] Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection and the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet." www.iihs.org/laws/testimony/pdf/testimony_11-04-2009.pdf

*Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operations / U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. September 2009. Research by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Center For Truck and Bus Safety. "Texting while driving was the riskiest task that drivers engaged in during the study. More specifically, drivers spent 4.6 s (out of a 6-s interval) not looking at the forward roadway when texting while driving during a safety-critical event." p.143. www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/report/FMCSA-RRR-09-42.pdf

"Driver Phone Bans' Impact Doubted" / Larry Copeland, USA Today, January 29, 2010. "A new study shows that the number of traffic crashes did not drop in three states and the District of Columbia after they banned drivers from using handheld cellphones." www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/2010-01-29-cell-phone_N.htm To see this study, consult the entry in this bibliography: Laws Banning Cellphone Use While Driving Fail to Reduce Crashes.

"An Examination of Driver Distraction as Recorded in NHTSA Databases" / U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts, September 2009. (380.77/X5) In 2008, 5,870 people (16% of all highway fatalities) died in distracted driving crashes; approximately 515,000 were injured. www.dot.gov/affairs/DOT%20HS%20811%20216.pdf

"Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. 49 CFR Chapter III. Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to Texting by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers" / Federal Register, January 27, 2010, v.75, no.17, p.4305-4307. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-1573.pdf

"Federal Railroad Administration. [FRA Emergency Order No. 26, Notice No. 1] Emergency Order to Restrict On-Duty Railroad Operating Employees' Use of Cellular Telephones and Other Distracting Electronic and Electrical Devices" / Federal Register, October 7, 2008, v.73, no.195, p.58702-58708. www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/PubAffairs/EmergencyOrder26.pdf

FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] Reveals Cell Phone Studies / The Center for Auto Safety. 2000-2010. www.autosafety.org/foia-reveals-cell-phone-studies

"Gauging Your Distraction" / New York Times, July 19, 2009. "New studies show that drivers overestimate their ability to multitask behind the wheel. This game measures how your reaction time is affected by external distractions." www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/07/19/technology/20090719-driving-game.html

Laws Banning Cellphone Use While Driving Fail to Reduce Crashes, New Insurance Data Indicate / Highway Loss Data Institute. January 29, 2010. www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr012910.html

LegisBrief: Briefing Papers on the Important Issues of the Day / National Conference of State Legislatures. (328/N21h)

  • "Addressing Distracted Driving"
    November-December 2009, v.17, no.48.
  • "Driving While Texting: States Address a New Trend"
    January 2008, v.16, no.6.
  • "Texting While Driving Could Spell D-A-N-G-E-R"
    March 2009, v.17, no.15.

"New Data from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Provides Insight into Cell Phone Use and Driving Distraction" / Sherri Box, Virginia Tech, July 29, 2009. "Text messaging on a cell phone was associated with the highest risk of all cell phone related tasks. "www.vtnews.vt.edu/news_print/index.php? relyear=2009&itemno=571

"NSC Estimates 1.6 Million Crashes Caused by Cell Phone Use and Texting" / National Safety Council, January 12, 2010. www.nsc.org/Pages/NSCestimates16millioncrashescausedbydriversusingcellphonesandtexting.aspx

"Restricting Use of Mobile Devices in Cars" / The Council of State Governments, Trends in America, September 2009. (380.77/C83a) www.csg.org/knowledgecenter/docs/TIA_MobleDevicesinCars_final.pdf

"Special Edition: Transportation" / National Conference of State Legislatures, Budgets and Revenue Committee, Mandate Monitor, November 5, 2009, v.6, no.1. (353.28/N212g) "Congress is considering a federal ban on texting while driving. Legislation has been introduced ... that would require states to enact a law that prohibits text messaging while driving by a certain date, or 25 percent of the state's highway funds will be withheld." http://ncsl.org/IssuesResearch/BudgetTax/MandateMonitorVolume6Issue1/tabid/19083/Default.aspx?tabid=19083

"State Highway Safety Laws" / Governors Highway Safety Association, January 2010. "Cell Phone Driving": interactive map of the states. www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/index.html

"State Laws on Distracted Driving" / U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. January 26, 2010. www.distraction.gov/state-laws

"States Go After Texting Drivers" / Larry Copeland, USA Today, January 24, 2010. Contains a quotation regarding current Wisconsin legislative action. www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-01-24-texting_N.htm

"Teens and Distracted Driving: Texting, Talking and Other Uses of the Cell Phone Behind the Wheel" / Mary Madden, Pew Internet & American Life Project, November 16, 2009. (380.77/P46) http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/Teens-and-Distracted-Driving.aspx

"Text Messaging During Simulated Driving" / Frank A. Drews [et al.], The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society OnlineFirst, December 16, 2009. (380.77/D82)

"Texting and Driving ... and Crashing" / Wisconsin Bureau of Transportation Safety, Traffic Safety Reporter, 2009, v.12, no.4. (Trans/HS/w) (library use only) www.dot.wisconsin.gov/library/publications/format/newsletters/safety/tsr-vol12no.4.pdf

"Texting While Driving: The New Drunk Driving" / Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor, November 5, 2009. www.csmonitor.com/USA/2009/1105/p25s07-usgn.html

Traffic Safety Culture Index: 2008 / AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. April 2008. (380.77/Am3b) "Motorists Practice `Do As I Say, Not As I Do' on America's Roads, ... 82 percent of motorists rated distracted driving as a serious problem, yet over half of those same individuals admitted to talking on the cell phone while driving in the past month, and 14 percent even admitted to reading or sending text messages while driving." www.aaafoundation.org/multimedia/index.cfm?button=researchreports

The 2010 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws / Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. January 2010. (380.77/Ad9) www.saferoads.org/2010-roadmap-state-highway-safety-laws

Related Web Sites

Applied Cognition Lab, University of Utah, Department of Psychology: www.psych.utah.edu/lab/appliedcognition/index.html "Distracted Driving."

CITA [The International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry] - "Advocacy: Safe Driving": www.ctia.org/advocacy/policy_topics/topic.cfm/TID/17

FocusDriven: Advocates for Cell-Free Driving: www.focusdriven.org/index.aspx

Governors Highway Safety Association, The States' Voice on Highway Safety: www.ghsa.org "GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management."

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - "Cellphones": www.iihs.org/research/topics/cell_phones.html

National Safety Council - Distracted Driving: www.nsc.org/safety_road/distracted_driving/pages/distracted_driving.aspx

The New York Times Topics - "Text Messaging": http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/t/text_messaging/index.html

The Oprah Show - "America's New Deadly Obsession": www.oprah.com/showinfo/Americas-New-Deadly-Obsession "Would you get in your car and drive after having four drinks? Statistics show that talking on the phone or texting while driving is just as dangerous as driving drunk. It's the show that started the No Phone Zone movement."

U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: www.distraction.gov "Distraction.Gov: Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving."

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute: www.vtti.vt.edu/about.html Provides cutting-edge research.

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