Crash Risk of Cell Phone Use While Driving: A Case-Crossover Analysis of Naturalistic Driving Data

J. M. Owens, T. A. Dingus, F. Guo, Y. Fang, M. Perez, and J. McClafferty
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

This study examined the relationship between cell phone use and crash risk using data from the Second Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study. The driving study contains data from a sample of 3,593 drivers whose driving was monitored using in-vehicle video and other data collection equipment for several months between October 2010 and December 2013.

This study compared drivers cell phone use in the six seconds immediately prior to a crash with their cell phone use in up to four six-second segments of ordinary driving under similar conditions, such as time of day, weather, and speed, within three months prior to the crash. The final study sample included 566 crashes matched to 1,749 segments of ordinary driving. Results indicated that visual-manual tasks overall, and specifically texting, were associated with increased risk of crash involvement. Furthermore, the increased risk was specific to crashes in free-flow traffic conditions, crashes in which the driver played a clear role, and in rear-end crashes. These findings were consistent with patterns observed in previous studies.

Reference
Owens, J.M., Dingus, T.A., Guo, F., Fang, Y., Perez, M. & McClafferty, J. (2018). Crash Risk of Cell Phone Use While Driving: A Case-Crossover Analysis of Naturalistic Driving Data. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.