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The effects of iPod and text-messaging use on driver distraction: a bio-behavioral analysis


This study was designed to empirically examine the effects of iPod device and text-messaging activities on driver distraction. Sixty participants were asked to perform a driving simulation task while searching for songs using an iPod device or text messaging. Driving errors as measured by lane deviations were recorded and analyzed as a function of the distracters. Physiological measures (EEG) were also recorded during the driving phases in order to measure participant levels of cortical arousal. It was hypothesized that iPod use and text messaging would result in a profound effect on driving ability. The results showed a significant effect of iPod use and text-messaging on driving performance. Increased numbers of driving errors were recorded during the iPod and text-messaging phases than the pre- and post-allocation phases. Higher levels of Theta activity were also observed during the iPod and Text-messaging phase than the pre- and post-allocation phases. Implications for in-vehicle systems design, training, and safety are also discussed.