Distracted driving Research

Active Projects

Comparative Effectiveness of Alternative Smartphone-Based Nudges to Reduce Cellphone Use While Driving

PI: Kit Delgado, MD, MS, University of Pennsylvania

The objective of this cooperative agreement is to translate findings from the field of behavioral economics to interventions that can be delivered through smartphones to “nudge” drivers to reduce distracted driving arising from cell phone use. We will seek to discover strategies that can be deployed through usage-based insurance (UBI) programs for cutting phone use while driving. We will also partner with large employers to test strategies to lower cell phone use among employees while driving using telematics technology. 

Promoting Intrafamily Accountability for Reducing Cellphone Use While Driving in Adults and their Teen Children: A Pilot Trial 

PI: Kit Delgado, MD, MS, University of Pennsylvania, Catherine McDonald, PhD, RN, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The objective of this study is to compare measures of acceptance and feasibility across teen-parent dyads randomized to bidirectional teen-parent (teen monitors parent and parent monitors teen) vs. teen only (parent monitors teen) cellphone use while driving.

Read more on clinicaltrials.gov

Way to Safety: Mobile Technology to Reduce Cellphone Use in Novice Teen Drivers 

PI: Kit Delgado, MD, MS, University of Pennsylvania, Catherine McDonald, PhD, RN, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The goal of this pilot study is to determine whether an opt-out engagement of a Driver Mode that limits cellphone use while driving is a promising and acceptable approach for reducing cellphone use while driving among teens.  

Read more on clinicaltrials.gov

Recent News
Man Driving in Car

August 27, 2018

CHOP Injury Research and Prevention Institute: Novel Measures of Cell Phone Use While Driving

texting driving2.jpg

October 19, 2016


To describe novel smartphone-based measures of cell phone use while driving in a sample of newly licensed adolescent drivers, we installed a windshield-mounted device that pairs with a smartphone application to collect data on cell phone use while driving over 2 weeks. We found that smartphone-based applications are an innovative means by which to collect continuous data on cell phone use while driving that can be used to better understand and intervene on this frequent behavior in newly licensed adolescent drivers.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in adolescents and drivers aged 16-19 are the most likely to die in distracted driving crashes.  We created an overview of the literature on adolescent cellphone use while driving, focusing on the crash risk, incidence, risk factors for engagement, and the effectiveness of current mitigation strategies.  Given the limited effectiveness of current mitigation strategies such as educational campaigns and legal bans, a multi-pronged behavioral and technological approach for future studies will be necessary to prevent crashes related to cellphone use in adolescents.

The majority of U.S. teens admit to handheld cellphone use while driving. To understand why the blocking technology is poorly understood and potentially limiting uptake, this study used surveys to examine teens' willingness to reduce cellphone use while driving and perceptions of potential strategies to limit this behavior. The results show that the strongest perceived benefit of cellphone blocking apps was decreasing distraction and the predominant reason for not wanting to use this technology was not wanting parents to monitor their behavior.

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