Study: iPod use has significant impact on driver performance | iLounge News


Study: iPod use has significant impact on driver performance

Using an iPod while driving will significantly affect a driver’s performance, according to a recent study by Drexel University professor Dario Salvucci. The Drexel study was conducted on a group of 12 iPod users in a fixed-base driving simulator. While “driving,” participants played three types of media—music, podcasts or videos. The study found that selecting a song or video on an iPod while driving “significantly affected driver performance as measured by vehicle deviation from a lane’s center veering left or right.” The study also found that selecting media affected the driver’s speed (they slowed down) and watching videos significantly affected car-following speed.

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Watching videos while driving is bad? I had no idea.

Posted by ort on March 29, 2007 at 5:31 PM (CDT)


um, duhhhh…..

I think the idea is that you select a song (not a video) before you drive and simply press the “next song” button if you want to skip one. Aside from the video thing (which is just dumb), how different is messing with an iPod to your car radio?

I feel bad for the person funding these studies.

Posted by Papa Hobo on March 29, 2007 at 5:50 PM (CDT)


Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

And in case you didn’t get the point: Stupid.

Posted by Camembert on March 29, 2007 at 5:51 PM (CDT)


Up next - Drexel University professor Dario Salvucci issues a study of shaving while driving based on a study of two people over a single incident each.  After that, Drexel University professor Dario Salvucci will study the effects of closing your eyes while driving with a sample group of one.

A sample group of 12 people?  It’s not large enough to matter, and the conclusions are obvious to anyone with half a brain.  If I were Drexel University I’d be pretty angry that I paid Dario Salvucci actual money and this is how he spent his time.

Posted by malren on March 29, 2007 at 5:53 PM (CDT)


The fact that *watching* a video affects your ability to drive is a no-brainer. Watching a video is an active activity, while listening to music or podcasts is usually more of a passive activity. (That means it’s easier to do other things — work, drive, mow the lawn — while listening.)

I think they should have tested different types of iPod usage (actively skipping songs is much different than skipping to the next song in an album or playlist). They also should have compared the distraction levels to the use of a standard car stereo (changing channels, swapping CDs, etc).

I listen to my iPod exclusively while I drive, using a combo charger/FM transmitter. But I usually choose a playlist and let it run. Most of the time I only “use” the iPod to skip to the next track, which can quickly be done without looking.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on March 29, 2007 at 6:02 PM (CDT)


mr professor

Posted by gonzalo on March 29, 2007 at 6:07 PM (CDT)


Wow. That’s very unexpected. I had no idea that NOT looking at the road had an effect on my performance… Holy crap. This is totally breaking news to me. Wow. Thank you, Salvucci, for opening my- and America’s- eyes.

I wonder if wearing a blindfold and getting a massage will effect my driving, too. Better throw some money at that experiment, too.

Posted by brent on March 29, 2007 at 6:15 PM (CDT)


i agree…when i use my ipod while driving i notice myself driving like crap…so recently before i start driving i either select a playlist or just put it on shuffle before i go…only my passenger or if im passenger use the ipod

Posted by mike aka ragingSPAM on forums on March 29, 2007 at 6:55 PM (CDT)

1 about this and other amazing breakthroughs in this months issue of “Duh.”

Posted by Nusm on March 29, 2007 at 8:18 PM (CDT)


The same results could be said with XMS or any stereo for that matter. I create play list and have a remote for ipod that I can click next song with out ever taking my eyes off the road.


Posted by Shameless1 on March 29, 2007 at 9:09 PM (CDT)


In other news, man flips SUV over highway while changing the song on his red iPod Nano. Investigators report that while the man and the passenger failed to survive the wreck, the iPod was found playing ‘Crash Into Me’ by Dave Matthews.

Posted by fxspec06 on March 29, 2007 at 9:47 PM (CDT)


Well, DUH! Who watches Movies on their iPod while driving anyway? Listening to music, maybe…but VIDEOS?! WDF

Posted by The Soup Nazi on March 29, 2007 at 9:52 PM (CDT)


I came to the same conclusion, that is, navigating iPod menus while driving affected my driving performance and was dangerous. My solution was to select tracks before driving and to use a remote control mounted on the steering wheel so that I could pause and skip tracks without taking my eyes off the road. AirClick is perfect for this job because it uses RF signals and it comes with a strap for mounting the remote control on the steering wheel.

Posted by Sol on March 29, 2007 at 11:16 PM (CDT)


well that thing about watching videos or selecting a song and being distracted while driving is absolutely a nobrainer.

... well.. at first i thought they meant the different types of MUSIC listening while driving, like a fast Drum&Bass; track lets you step on the gas more then a silent classic song.

so… i’d rate this news/article rather FUNNY then serious.. ;)

Posted by mark on March 30, 2007 at 5:31 AM (CDT)


I’d like so see a study about how dangerous it is for dumb people that have their dogs sitting on their laps while driving.

Didn’t they do a study like this for cellphones, eating, talking to other people? This study shouldn’t have been funded.

Posted by Jason on March 30, 2007 at 8:15 AM (CDT)


wait for it…wait for it…


[Charles Gibson:] 
“An idaho man is suing apple for distracting him while driving. According to the lawsuit due to the ipods small size and screen he had to take his eyes off the road to select a song.  When he did so he slammed his car into a potato field.  Totaling the car and causing mental distress.

The man is asking for 5 million in damages and a redesign of the ipod with a brain implantable interface so that future consumers are not victimized by the obvious design flaw.”

Posted by ArtVandelay on March 30, 2007 at 8:28 AM (CDT)


Sigh, apparently no one here has any clue about what the point of science is. Yes, we consider it common sense that a person would be a worse driver because they mess with an ipod while doing it, but what has been seen as common knowledge before has been shot down time and time again.
Besides, studies like these need to exist so that other people can actually say that it effects driving negatively and be able to cite a source rather than just sound like they pulled it out of their ass.

Posted by jcpiebald on March 30, 2007 at 9:06 AM (CDT)


So jcpiebald, what you’re saying is this study is stating the obvious so that future people can state the obvious. I got ‘cha.

Posted by JW on March 30, 2007 at 9:13 AM (CDT)



Drexel University professor Dario Salvucci unmasked as iLounge commentator “jcpiebald”

Posted by hill_w on March 30, 2007 at 9:17 AM (CDT)


“Sigh, apparently no one here has any clue about what the point of science is.”

I understand what you’re saying, but it doesn’t really make the study any less biased or ridiculous. There is exactly one reason to pay for a study like this, and it’s that you’re an advocacy group or politician with the urge to pass special legislation against using iPod’s while driving. The problem is that this “problem” does not exist in any real sense because it has existed ever since they put radios in cars. So they do a study, they cite the results, and it’s used to restrict people’s freedoms even though the study actually failed to find anything significant because it’s not compared to anything.

For example, finding out that people with iPods hooked into their car stereos were 2.3X as likely to be in a serious accident as those without, even those with CD or tape players, would be a real finding that demanded follow up. Finding out that doing something distracting is, well, distracting is just out of context data points that mean next to nothing.

Posted by Code Monkey on March 30, 2007 at 9:22 AM (CDT)

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