It’s been well-established that in controlled tests—that is, on closed courses and driving simulators—that texting impairs driving ability to the same extent as alcohol. But what hasn’t been known is the extent that young adults drive while smart-phoning.
[This tool] is intended to be used to assess behavior patterns and risk…
So researchers at Harvard Medical School and The Massachusetts Ear and Eye Infirmary set out to find out. They called the tool they built to study this the Distracted Driving Survey (DDS) and score. The recent article, “Texting while driving, the development and validation of the distracted driving survey and risk score among young adults,” by Regan W. Bergmark, Emily Gliklich, Rong Guo, and Richard E. Gliklich published in Injury Epidemiology details how they developed a self-administered survey, and the results they got from young adults in the 18-24 age bracket.
The survey they developed has 11 questions and takes 2-4 minutes to complete. They administered the survey to young drivers from the greater Boston metro area, and from the Western and Eastern U.S. They used these responses to develop a statistical scoring system. As they write, “The DDS is intended to be used to assess behavior patterns and risk and to evaluate the impact of public health interventions aimed at reducing texting and other cell phone-related distracted driving behaviors.” They intend this tool to be used to gather more data, the analysis of which they hope can point the way towards effective anti-distraction interventions.
You can read the entire article here.