This US literature review summarized the most relevant research results pertaining to distracted driving. It acknowledged that there was no widespread consensus regarding guidelines and methods that can be used to address distracted driving. It also noted that laws were only a part of the overall solution. Training, education programs and additional research should receive funding directed toward creating better interfaces and generating tools that assess their distraction potential. In particular, drivers should understand that although compensatory behaviours may help reduce risk (e.g., reduction in speed), such behaviours do not completely eliminate risk, and may actually increase it (e.g., if a distracted driver were to slow down too much compared with surrounding traffic).
It was concluded that distracted driving has changed considerably in the last decade, and that the issue would continue to evolve. Despite the extensive research conducted on distracted driving, there are still important research gaps that should be addressed. Ongoing research is needed to create effective guidelines and methods in order to promote safety among drivers. Legislators should be cognizant that crash risk is a function of both how demanding a task is and how often it occurs in typical driving conditions.
Hurts, K., Angell, L. S., & Perez, M. A. (2011). The distracted driver: Mechanisms, models, and measurement. Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 7(1), 3-57.