How many crashes are caused by driver interaction with passengers? A meta-analysis approach

Athanasios Theofilatos, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Eleonora Papadimitriou, George Yannis
Elsevier

This meta-analysis was conducted to consolidate the existing findings of studies examining crashes caused by driver interaction and conversation with other passengers in order to estimate the number of crashes caused by this type of distraction. Passenger interaction was classified as both conversation-based and physical interaction. In finding studies for the analysis, six selection criteria were applied that places an emphasis on high-quality studies and quantitative effects. Two categories were created for the analysis; interactions with all passengers, and interactions with passengers excluding teens and children. Results showed 3.55% of reported crashes were passenger interaction related, and 3.85% of crashes were passenger interaction related when teens and children were excluded. Researchers attributed crashes as a result of passenger interaction to the heightened mental workload and, in some cases, emotion that a conversation requires. This heightened workload imposes varying levels of distraction on drivers which increases the risk of a crash, especially when difficult driving conditions (i.e., weather) are also a factor.

Reference
Theofilatos, A., Ziakopoulos, A., Papadimitriou, E., & Yannis, G. (2018). How many crashes are caused by driver interaction with passengers? A meta-analysis approach. Journal of safety research, 65, 11-20.