A Meta-Analytic Comparison of the Effects of Text Messaging to Substance-Induced Impairment on Driving Performance

Paola Pascual-Ferrá, Yu Liu, Michael J. Beatty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

According to the National Safety Commission, 28% of auto accidents or 1.6 million accidents per year are attributable to cell phone use and texting while driving. In response to this problem, state and federal agencies, as well as coalitions of citizens such as Mothers Against Texting and Driving, are leading public campaigns to ban texting while driving. The evidence in support of such campaigns often compares texting while driving to other forms of impairment, such as drunk driving, but the evidence is often anecdotal or is selectively drawn from single studies. Such appeals do little to overcome drivers' overestimations of their abilities to "multi-task" while driving. Based on the assumption that scientific evidence regarding the comparative effects of text messaging while driving to other forms of impairment is required to establish credibility of campaigns, the authors conducted a planned contrast meta-analysis of the research in 3 domains. Results indicated large and comparable effects on poor driving performance for texting (r =.572) and alcohol use (r =.539), as well as marihuana use (r =.27), which, although moderate, was significantly less than either texting or alcohol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-238
Number of pages12
JournalCommunication Research Reports
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

Keywords

  • Communication Technology
  • Driving Safety
  • Drunk Driving
  • Texting
  • Texting While Driving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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