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Evaluation of Driver Distraction during Mobile Phone Interaction with the 511 Information System

Started: February, 2004 Ended: December, 2004 Project ID #425452 Status: Completed


This research project has three primary objectives: • To collect empirical data addressing driver distraction while using two common mobile phone interfaces in rural and urban traffic, • To collect empirical data addressing the usability of the 511 information system while being accessed by mobile telephone from a moving vehicle, • To provide an initial shakedown study for the WTI driving simulation laboratory and an early research success on what will be a high-visibility topic.


A significant body of research has indicated that the use of hand-held cellular phones in moving vehicles can create a dangerous distraction to drivers in urban areas. Cellular phones with headphone interfaces may create a lesser, but still significant distraction. No research has yet explored the use of these phones by drivers on less congested rural roads where the driver's workload is lower. The national "511" highway information system is heavily used by drivers, especially during inclement weather, to plan and replan their trips. While the system can be accessed by most telephones and authorities agree that users should call from home or from the roadside, a primary user group includes drivers who will access the system while driving on the roads. Few studies have explored the usability of the 511 user interface; we could find no published studies that have investigated the usability of 511 in the context of a mobile phone user who has the added workload of driving a vehicle.


Files & Documents

Sponsors & Partners

  • Research and Innovation Technology Administration (RITA) Sponsor

Part of: Safety and Operations, Driving Simulator Laboratory

Project Tagged In: driving simulation, human factors, Rural Transportation

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