Influence of road traffic environment and mobile phone distraction on the speed selection behaviour of young drivers

Oviedo-Trespalacios, Óscar, Haque, Md. Mazharul, King, Mark J., & Washington, Simon (2015) Influence of road traffic environment and mobile phone distraction on the speed selection behaviour of young drivers. In Victor, Trent & Regan, Michael (Eds.) 4th International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention (DDI2015), 9-11 November 2015, Sydney, NSW.


Travel speed is one of the most critical parameters for road safety; the evidence suggests that increased vehicle speed is associated with higher crash risk and injury severity. Both naturalistic and simulator studies have reported that drivers distracted by a mobile phone select a lower driving speed. Speed decrements have been argued to be a risk compensatory behaviour of distracted drivers. Nonetheless, the extent and circumstances of the speed change among distracted drivers are still not known very well. As such, the primary objective of this study was to investigate patterns of speed variation in relation to contextual factors and distraction. Using the CARRS-Q high-fidelity Advanced Driving Simulator, the speed selection behaviour of 32 drivers aged 18-26 years was examined in two phone conditions: baseline (no phone conversation) and handheld phone operation. The simulator driving route contained five different types of road traffic complexities, including one road section with a horizontal S curve, one horizontal S curve with adjacent traffic, one straight segment of suburban road without traffic, one straight segment of suburban road with traffic interactions, and one road segment in a city environment. Speed deviations from the posted speed limit were analysed using Ward’s Hierarchical Clustering method to identify the effects of road traffic environment and cognitive distraction. The speed deviations along curved road sections formed two different clusters for the two phone conditions, implying that distracted drivers adopt a different strategy for selecting driving speed in a complex driving situation. In particular, distracted drivers selected a lower speed while driving along a horizontal curve. The speed deviation along the city road segment and other straight road segments grouped into a different cluster, and the deviations were not significantly different across phone conditions, suggesting a negligible effect of distraction on speed selection along these road sections. Future research should focus on developing a risk compensation model to explain the relationship between road traffic complexity and distraction.

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ID Code: 90233
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Speed, Distraction, Simulator, Mobile Phone
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 ARRB Group Ltd and Authors
Deposited On: 16 Nov 2015 01:52
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2016 03:59

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