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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Posted by unreal on March 30, 2007 at 10:29 AM (CDT)


To jcpiebald…

Do you not believe that there is too much reliance on evidence-based science, when in fact sometimes answers could have been answered equally well by using an element of common sense?

I am not aware of any reviews of multi center, prospective, randomized and blinded trials that shows that in fact having brakes in a car saves lives.

Without such evidence, I feel that I am not compelled to use said brakes, for fear that in doing so I might expose myself to an undetermined adverse event.

Not sure this will help me as I face a judge for running into someones shop window though.

Posted by boca on March 30, 2007 at 10:55 AM (CDT)


That’s exactly why I bought a 1st gen iPod Shuffle just for my car. I find I can use the Shuffle by “feel” and the lack of screen is a boon in a driving situation.

I can just set the Shuffle (in a iSkin case) in the cupholder by my side and just press the big play/pause button when needed.

I once made the mistake of trying to plug in my Nano while driving, and it was a scary moment. It’s much harder to operate by feel when it so screen oriented.

Posted by Srornat on March 30, 2007 at 11:11 AM (CDT)


That’s why I can’t wait to get my hands on iPod Cruisecontrol shown in the 2007 iLounge buyers guide. I’ve emailed Sendstation already twice, but unfortunately they don’t have a relase date yet.

Posted by Frank Gwildis on March 30, 2007 at 11:31 AM (CDT)


I think the big reasons why it’s dangerous to use an iPod while driving are:
1) The touch-wheel. It’s not tactile, so you’re forced to rely on either listening for the “click” or taking your eyes off what you’re doing to make sure you highlight the right option. Also, the controls on most head units (especially OEM models) are fairly large and easy to see.
2) The distance between the iPod’s screen and the windshield. Most head units are mounted near the top of the dash, so it doesn’t take as long to glance from road to stereo as it does to look down at the iPod sitting in the cupholder.

Posted by fondy44 on March 30, 2007 at 4:23 PM (CDT)


This study is obviously flawed and biased!

Without a placebo they have no control group, which means that this “study” isn’t conclusive in what drivers would do if they thought they had an iPod but was really a facade.

Moreover, are we to presume that only iPods will have a discernible affect on driver attentiveness?

Jeez…I’d really like to see this Dario Salvucci’s credentials before I believe anything he hypothesizes.

/end sarcasm

Posted by lithe1 on March 30, 2007 at 10:40 PM (CDT)


gosh, am iStupid or what, not knowing taking my eyes off the road is dangerous. iIdiot or what.

Posted by xbman on March 31, 2007 at 6:48 AM (CDT)


Hmm, I suppose this is why some makers of cars are building in iPod integration units into the radio systems? Or perhaps this is why some people are cleverly modding their steering wheels to include a pair SKIP and PREVIOUS buttons?


I see the light.

Seriously. Everyone can tell this person played Life and failed.

Posted by Fleet on April 1, 2007 at 2:29 AM (CDT)


Another brilliant university “study”. Why don’t you expand the study to whether doing ANYTHING other then concentrating on driving will “significantly affect driving performance”. PS, good sample size.

Posted by mike on April 1, 2007 at 12:40 PM (CDT)



How studies work is that researchers start with a small focus group; if the results are promising, a larger, more scientifically based research study can then be decided upon, at the time which federal funding/grants from private organizations, etc. can be applied for. Research studies can be cost prohibitive and time consuming to run, so no-one “jumps” into a large scientific study.

Methodology such as this was followed that originally helped determine safety issues regarding changing radio channels while driving - years later, the basis of the first study led to scientific studies confirming the hypothesis. Years later, improvements in driver safety were made via advances in technology that now places radio controls on steering wheels for a number of vehicles.

People, safety doesn’t happen overnight.

And while people who read Ilounge may be smart enough not to drive while watching videos, there are a lot of crazy people out there who do. Some people also read the newspaper, apply makeup and do IM while driving…People take advantage of what they can, until the govt is at times forced to “legislate stupidity”, to quote a former governor.

And regarding the dog on the lap thing, PA now has a law that dogs must be harnessed with seatbelts, otherwise a driver may be fined. My dog now has a car seat and seat belt and things are alot safer. Before that, I wasn’t always the safest driver because I had to keep an eye on my dog’s behavior.

I think we can all be safe and happy people. We just have to learn what our limits are as we incorporate newer technologies into our lives.


Posted by lisa on April 2, 2007 at 8:24 AM (CDT)

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