The objective of this meta-analysis was to understand how texting affects the specific tasks necessary for safe driving, which driving behaviours were most adversely affected, how effects varied across studies and populations, and ways that changes might be implemented to reduce harm. The meta-analysis examined 28 articles that investigated the effects texting and driving have on driver performance. The meta-analysis was conducted using the PRISMA guidelines, including title, structured abstract, introductory rationale, methods, results, discussion, and funding sources. The overall sample was more representative of younger drivers who are likely to text and drive, but may also have included convenience samples from universities.
Results indicated that typing a text message while driving negatively affected all aspects of safe driving because texting produces visual, physical, and cognitive driver distractions. More specifically, results generally demonstrated that drivers exhibited prolonged and frequent glances away from the road, missed more detection opportunities, had slower responses to hazards, were involved in a larger number of crashes, and did not control their vehicles within the lane as accurately compared to baseline driving
Authors encouraged the use of combined efforts in order to prevent deaths and injuries as a result of texting and driving. These combined strategies included but were not limited to the following: legislation, enforcement, blocking technologies, parent modeling, social media, social norms, and education.
Caird, J.K., Johnston, K.A., Willness, C.R., Asbridge, M., and Steel, P. (2014) A meta-analysis of the effects of texting on driving. Accident Analysis Prevention, 71: 311-318.