The objective of this United States study was to estimate the prevalence of driver distraction using a roadside observational study design. A cross-sectional survey involving direct roadside observation was conducted at 11 selected intersections in Alabama. Investigators recorded distraction-related behaviors, driver characteristics, and contextual factors such as vehicle speed and traffic flow.
Of the 3,265 observed drivers, the prevalence of distracted driving was 32.7%. The most frequently observed distractions included interacting with another passenger (53.2%), talking on the phone (31.4%), external-vehicle distractions (20.4%), and texting/dialing a phone (16.6%). The prevalence of talking on a phone was higher among females than males (38.6% vs. 24.3%), and drivers less than 30 years old were observed to be engaged in distracted activity more than drivers aged 30 years and older. Lastly, drivers engaged in distracting behaviors more frequently when the vehicle was stopped (i.e., at a traffic light, stop sign, or stop-and-go traffic).
Huisingh, C., Griffin, R., & McGwin Jr, G. (2015). The prevalence of distraction among passenger vehicle drivers: a roadside observational approach. Traffic injury prevention, 16(2), 140-146.