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Project Details

Title:Does Cell Phone Use Impair Learning and Improvement in Driving Performance?
Principal Investigators:David Sanbonmatsu and David Strayer
University:University of Utah
Grant #:DTRT13-G-UTC38 (MAP21)
Project #:MPC-525
RH Display ID:15704
Keywords:awareness, cellular telephones, driver performance, drivers, learning, monitoring


The proposed research seeks to further understanding of the impact of cell phone use on driving safety. Our study tests the hypothesis that cell phone use impairs motorists' ability to learn from their mistakes and improve the safeness of their driving. Because cell phone use diminishes monitoring, distracted motorists may be less likely to learn how to effectively navigate the challenging facets of the roads they frequent. The proposed study also explores individual differences in driving self-awareness and improvement in performance. Whose ability to monitor and learn from their driving is most likely to be impaired by cell phone use? We hypothesize that individuals who have limited working memory capacity or executive control (e.g., Engle, 2002) are generally less aware of their driving performance and the road conditions, particularly when they are engaged in a distracting activity such as cellular communication. We also examine whether overconfident drivers are less apt to monitor their performance and less likely to improve the safeness of their driving.

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