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      A meta-analysis of the effects of cell phones on driver performance.

      Accident; Analysis and Prevention

      Accidents, Traffic, statistics & numerical data, Automobile Driving, Cell Phones, Effect Modifier, Epidemiologic, Humans, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Verbal Behavior

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          Abstract

          The empirical basis for legislation to limit cell phones while driving is addressed. A comprehensive meta-analysis of the effects of cell phones on driving performance was performed. A total of 33 studies collected through 2007 that met inclusion criteria yielded 94 effect size estimates, with a total sample size of approximately 2000 participants. The dependent variables of reaction time, lateral vehicle control, headway and speed and the moderating variables of research setting (i.e., laboratory, simulator, on-road), conversation target (passenger, cell phone) and conversation type (cognitive task, naturalistic) were coded. Reaction time (RT) to events and stimuli while talking produced the largest performance decrements. Handheld and hands-free phones produced similar RT decrements. Overall, a mean increase in RT of .25s was found to all types of phone-related tasks. Observed performance decrements probably underestimate the true behavior of drivers with mobile phones in their own vehicles. In addition, drivers using either phone type do not appreciably compensate by giving greater headway or reducing speed. Tests for moderator effects on RT and speed found no statistically significant effect size differences across laboratory, driving simulation and on-road research settings. The implications of the results for legislation and future research are considered.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Meta-analysis: recent developments in quantitative methods for literature reviews.

          We describe the history and current status of the meta-analytic enterprise. The advantages and historical criticisms of meta-analysis are described, as are the basic steps in a meta-analysis and the role of effect sizes as chief coins of the meta-analytic realm. Advantages of the meta-analytic procedures include seeing the "landscape" of a research domain, keeping statistical significance in perspective, minimizing wasted data, becoming intimate with the data summarized, asking focused research questions, and finding moderator variables. Much of the criticism of meta-analysis has been based on simple misunderstanding of how meta-analyses are actually carried out. Criticisms of meta-analysis that are applicable are equally applicable to traditional, nonquantitative, narrative reviews of the literature. Much of the remainder of the chapter deals with the processes of effect size estimation, the understanding of the heterogeneity of the obtained effect sizes, and the practical and scientific importance of the effect sizes obtained.
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            The nature of procrastination: a meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure.

             Piers Steel (2007)
            Procrastination is a prevalent and pernicious form of self-regulatory failure that is not entirely understood. Hence, the relevant conceptual, theoretical, and empirical work is reviewed, drawing upon correlational, experimental, and qualitative findings. A meta-analysis of procrastination's possible causes and effects, based on 691 correlations, reveals that neuroticism, rebelliousness, and sensation seeking show only a weak connection. Strong and consistent predictors of procrastination were task aversiveness, task delay, self-efficacy, and impulsiveness, as well as conscientiousness and its facets of self-control, distractibility, organization, and achievement motivation. These effects prove consistent with temporal motivation theory, an integrative hybrid of expectancy theory and hyperbolic discounting. Continued research into procrastination should not be delayed, especially because its prevalence appears to be growing. (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved.
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              Association between cellular-telephone calls and motor vehicle collisions.

              Because of a belief that the use of cellular telephones while driving may cause collisions, several countries have restricted their use in motor vehicles, and others are considering such regulations. We used an epidemiologic method, the case-crossover design, to study whether using a cellular telephone while driving increases the risk of a motor vehicle collision. We studied 699 drivers who had cellular telephones and who were involved in motor vehicle collisions resulting in substantial property damage but no personal injury. Each person's cellular-telephone calls on the day of the collision and during the previous week were analyzed through the use of detailed billing records. A total of 26,798 cellular-telephone calls were made during the 14-month study period. The risk of a collision when using a cellular telephone was four times higher than the risk when a cellular telephone was not being used (relative risk, 4.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 3.0 to 6.5). The relative risk was similar for drivers who differed in personal characteristics such as age and driving experience; calls close to the time of the collision were particularly hazardous (relative risk, 4.8 for calls placed within 5 minutes of the accident, as compared with 1.3 for calls placed more than 15 minutes before the accident; P<0.001); and units that allowed the hands to be free (relative risk, 5.9) offered no safety advantage over hand-held units (relative risk, 3.9; P not significant). Thirty-nine percent of the drivers called emergency services after the collision, suggesting that having a cellular telephone may have had advantages in the aftermath of an event. The use of cellular telephones in motor vehicles is associated with a quadrupling of the risk of a collision during the brief time interval involving a call. Decisions about regulation of such telephones, however, need to take into account the benefits of the technology and the role of individual responsibility.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                18606257
                10.1016/j.aap.2008.01.009

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