Driving Habits

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Slide 1: 

Method Discussion Driving Habits Jorden Collins, Kristin Cheung, Valerie Monroe Azusa Pacific University Chart #1 Chart #2 References Literature Review Results Davis, P. (2003). Driver Study: Cell Phones Not Top Distraction.  Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TRAVEL/08/06/distracted.drivers/ Driving Laws (2010). The Statistics: The Cell Phone Driving Hazard. Retrieved from http://www.drivinglaws.org/stats.php The recent passing of laws involving cell-phone usage while driving has caused much debate over a driver’s ability to multi-task. The popularity of smart phones and staying in touch through technology has enabled people to be available to their friends and colleagues. This leads people to overestimate their ability to multi-task while driving.  Multi-tasking or distracted driving includes talking on the cell phone, texting, using the GPS, changing the radio station, eating, drinking, talking to other passengers, or grooming oneself. Students ages 21-45 participated.  The students were all graduate students at Azusa Pacific University. Our sample population was about 150 graduate students, of those students, 16 chose to participate in our study. Of the 150 emails that were sent out, 16 people chose to participate in our study.  Survey monkey provides a constant analysis that enables us to view the responses in a bar graph style for questions 1-8 and the written responses for 9 and 10. In the beginning of our study we hypothesized that practicing safe driving behaviors promotes better road habits for all drivers.  We chose to take a sample of the graduate student population from Azusa Pacific University.

Literature Review : 

Literature Review The recent passing of laws involving cell-phone usage while driving has caused much debate over a driver’s ability to multi-task.  The popularity of smart phones and staying in touch through technology has enabled people to be available to their friends and colleagues.  This leads people to overestimate their ability to multi-task while driving.  Multi-tasking or distracted driving includes talking on the cell phone, texting, using the GPS, changing the radio station, eating, drinking, talking to other passengers, or grooming oneself (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2010).  More specifically, “distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing” (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2010). Distracted driving can even include sleepiness, which reduces alertness and slows reaction time (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2009). Despite what research has shown, people continue to multi-task while driving. In a survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. (2003), a total of 1,100 licensed drivers, ages 16 and older, were interviewed by telephone.  Drivers admitted to having bad habits such as eating, talking on their cell phones, and even reading while driving (Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. 2003).  This attitude is even reflected on a national level.  State legislators had 170 bills that addressed distracted driving, but only few than 10 passed (Richtel, 2009). In fact, a study focused on regulatory policies geared towards highway safety, found that safety regulations have not been very effective (Keeler, 1994).  However, the statistics show that “in 2008, 5,870 people lost their lives and an estimated 515,000 people were injured in police-reported crashes in which at least one form of driver distraction was reported on the police crash report” (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2010). Furthermore, 80% of car crashes are caused by drivers who miss traffic signs or make immediate changes (Driving Laws, 2010).  Written by Kristin Cheung

Literature Review continued… : 

Literature Review continued… Much of the recent research has focused on cell-phone use while driving. The US. Department of Transportation (2010) cited that cell-phone use reduces brain activity, delays a driver’s reaction, and that they are four times as likely to get into crashes. More research has shown that “drivers using phones are four times as likely to cause a crash as other drivers, and the likelihood that they will crash is equal to that of someone with a .08 percent blood alcohol level, the point at which drivers are generally considered intoxicated” (Richtel, 2009). Another study involving a simulator while talking on the phone showed that cell-phone usage led to a 30% reduction in reaction time (Fechner, 2006). Thus, cell phone usage is very similar to driving while intoxicated. On the other hand, other studies have found that distractions such as cell-phone usage may not be a top distraction.  Though much of the focus lately has been on the use of cell-phones and texting, drivers also need to be aware that subtle actions may also impair their concentration while driving.  In an article by Patty Davis (2003), research found that “reaching and leaning inside the car is the most common distraction:  More than 97 percent of drivers do it, according to the study.  In addition, the study found 91.4 percent manipulate the car radio; 71.4 percent eat and drink, and 77.1 percent talk with a passenger.  Only 30 percent use cell phones while driving, the report says.” Written by Kristin Cheung

Literature Review continued… : 

Literature Review continued… There have also been a lot of studies focused on the driving habits of teenagers.  In the Texas cities of Garland and Mesquite, teenagers were measured on their driver risk awareness, driving behavior, and crash statistics.  An educational driving program was implemented in Garland, but the program was not conducted in Mesquite.  By educating teenage drivers in Garland (versus Mesquite) and instilling graduated driver licensing, the study found that teenagers developed safer driving behaviors, which ultimately reduced the frequency of teen traffic fatalities and teen-driver crashes (Texas Transportation Institute, 2010).  Even large car companies such as Ford have hosted an event to help teenagers learn how to drive safely (Ford Motor Company, 2009).  Teenagers were taught safe-driving techniques, which focused on “four key skill areas: speed management, space management, vehicle handling and hazard recognition” (Ford Motor Company, 2009).  Research has found that the lack of such skills is the cause of about 60 percent of automobile crashes for drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 years old (Ford Motor Company, 2009). On a bigger scale, some states are encouraging their drivers to practice safe driving habits.  In the state of New York, legislators are taking action to decrease traffic accidents.  They advise drivers to obey speed limits, avoid aggressive driving, and driving while tired or distracted (Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, 2006).  They also emphasize that drivers should ensure their vehicle is regularly maintained and is in good operation condition (Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, 2006). Written by Kristin Cheung

Literature Review continued… : 

Literature Review continued… Other countries around the world are also implementing measures to help their drivers, especially novice drivers, to become more aware of safety hazards.  In European countries, the two-phase driving model is very popular. The two-phase model includes a student taking his or her training at a driving school, with a non-professional supervisor, or by combining the two (Mynttinen, S., Gatscha, M., Koivukoski, M., Hakuli, K. & Keshkinen, E., 2010).  After completing the training, the driving test is taken, which leads to the acquisition of a driving license (Mynttinen et al., 2010).  Within a certain period after having obtained the driving license, the novice driver has to follow a second phase of theory and/or training.  The training could include: skid training, nighttime driving, hazard-perception, or self-assessment.  This is the precondition for obtaining a "full" license after a certain time period (Mynttinen et al., 2010).  What was found in the study was that Austrian novice drivers reported less traffic offenses and accidents after completing the 2nd-phase models and Finnish participants reported that they benefitted from the driver training (Mynttinen et al., 2010). Written by Kristin Cheung

Methods : 

Methods Students ages 21-45 participated.  The students were all graduate students at Azusa Pacific University.  Our sample population was about 150 graduate students, of those students, 16 chose to participate in our study.   We did not discriminate against race, gender, or field in which the student was studying.  Participants needed to be experienced drivers in order to complete the study.  The participants were informed of the study and the class it was created for.  They were also made aware that they could choose to opt out of the study at any time. The apparatus we used is called surveymonkey.  Participants were emailed a link to the survey we had conducted.  The survey was ten questions long.  The first six required participants to answer the questions using the following scale: always, sometimes, rarely, and never.  The participants simply clicked on the bubble indicating which scale they believed to best represent their answer to the question.  The last four questions were open ended questions where the participant answered the question by typing in the box below the question.  The first thing our group did was research safe driving and formed survey questions based upon the literature we read.  The questions were then reviewed and approved by peers, our professor, and the Research Facilitator of the Office Institutional Research and Assessment at Azusa Pacific University.  To gain peer approval of the survey, the questions were submitted to the institute review board.  Peers were able to review our questions and point out possible ethical issues or concerns.  Our peers pointed out possible negative emotional responses that participants may experience if we were to include questions regarding newly instated laws or other hot topics related to driving.  Our professor was able to give us feedback as well as we continued to revive our survey questions.  After receiving approval from our professor and peers, we submitted our questionnaire and requested a sample of emails for our desired participants to the OIRA. Chris Olson, Ed.D from the OIRA approved our request and gave us our sample population as well as the header that needed to be included in the email to the participants. Written by Valerie Monroe

Slide 7: 

Results Of the 150 emails that were sent out, 16 people chose to participate in our study.  Survey monkey provides a constant analysis that enables us to view the responses in a bar graph style for questions 1-8 and the written responses for 9 and 10.  What stood out the most was that participants never answered “rarely” or “never” to the top six questions that involved following the law and attempting to be an all around safe driver.  The results for number seven, as depicted in Chart #3, showed that of the 16 participants slightly over half of them drive zero to five hours a week.  Nearly 65% of the participants were experienced drivers and had been driving for over ten years. From the written response the trends seem to be that in order to have good driving habits you must be aware of what is around you and to pay attention, however, if given the chance to take a class to improve driving skills nearly all of the participants said no. Pie chart #1 shows the responses to the third question “How often do you use your blinkers while changing lanes?” 75% of our participants said that they always use their blinker when changing lanes, while 25% said that they sometimes use their blinkers and none of our participants answered rarely or never.             Pie chart #2 shows the responses to the 2nd question “How often do you multi-task while driving? (i.e. eating, changing the radio station, etc.)”.  As seen in the third question, none of the participants answered rarely or never.  88% of our participants said that they sometimes multi task while driving while 12% always multi-task while driving.  Written by Valerie Monroe

Results continued… : 

Results continued… The Table of Quantitative Results (found on slide #12) gives the means and standard deviation for eight of our ten questions that were answered by our participants.  For the first question the mean is 2.18 and the standard deviation is 0.83, indicating that the data points are far from the mean. This shows that participants had various responses to this question. This was the only question in which the participants responded with the scale rarely and never.  The seventh question had a high standard deviation as well.  Participants gave various responses in regards to how many hours they drove per week. The rest of the standard deviations are much lower which indicate that participants tended to respond similarly.  The second question gained the lowest standard deviation of .34 with a mean of 1.87. This means that nearly all of our participants had the same answer for this question.    Using open-ended questions allowed us to gain qualitative responses from our participants.  It helped in gaining a broader picture of the type of people who participated in our study. Question number nine was “What do you think are good driving habits to have?”  Many of the answers discussed the importance of following the laws, not multitasking, being aware and paying attention to the road around you, being courteous to other drivers, and finally planning ahead so you don’t have to rush.  Question number ten was “If given the opportunity, would you take a driving class to improve driving skills? Please explain.” For this question we got the overwhelming response of “no”. Many of them pointed out that they wouldn’t have the time or money to take the class.  Others pointed out that many people are bad drivers because they multitask while driving. Others said that they had already taken a class because they had gotten a ticket. Written by Valerie Monroe

Chart #1 : 

Chart #1 Created by Jorden Collins

Slide 10: 

Chart #2 Created by Jorden Collins

Slide 11: 

Chart #3 Created by Jorden Collins

Slide 12: 

Table of Quantitative Results Created by Jorden Collins

Slide 13: 

Discussion In the beginning of our study we hypothesized that practicing safe driving behaviors promotes better road habits for all drivers.  We chose to take a sample of the graduate student population from Azusa Pacific University.  If our sample was an adequate representation of our chosen population, we can infer that most graduate students do practice safe driving habits but they do not do it all the time.  When asked what they believed good driving habits were, they pointed out the importance of following the laws, especially the newly instated cell phone laws.   They also pointed out the importance of being aware of ones surroundings while driving.  They also mentioned several other good driving habits that could create safer roads for all. Although there was some helpful information gained from this study, there are several aspects of this study that are inadequate.  The first is we were able to only survey 17 people. This study does not have an adequate representation of the graduate student population at Azusa Pacific University.  We may have only been able to reach a certain type of population that was more responsible with checking their email and responding to our survey.  The result of surveying this type of audience may have limited our feedback to people who generally are better drivers.  Another inadequacy of our survey is that we were only able to ask ten questions.  If we were able to ask more questions, we would have gotten a better picture of our participant’s driving habits. Written by Valerie Monroe

Discussion continued… : 

Discussion continued… A day does not go by where we do not hear of an accident occurring on the road.  We hoped by surveying graduate students, we could encourage our participants to become aware of their driving habits and give us an idea of the type of driving habits graduate students have.  With this in mind we now know that although graduate students know how to drive safely and have good habits, they do not always maintain these good habits.  We believe it would be important to remind these students the importance of maintaining good driving habits not only for themselves, but for other drivers out there that share the road with them. If we were to take this study a step further, graduate students may benefit by becoming more aware of their driving habits and learning how to make the road safer for themselves and other drivers.  Although many students may not want to attend classes, encouraging students to take additional driving classes could create safer driving awareness. A study that could benefit drivers is to research if taking additional classes would help make our roads safer. We could also remind them of what the driving laws are by putting up propaganda on the campus.  The propaganda could also discourage multitasking while driving by informing them with statistics of how accidents occur.  This would also be a good topic to further research in order to create safer road conditions. Written by Valerie Monroe

References : 

References Davis, P. (2003). Driver Study: Cell Phones Not Top Distraction.  Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TRAVEL/08/06/distracted.drivers/ Driving Laws (2010). The Statistics: The Cell Phone Driving Hazard. Retrieved from http://www.drivinglaws.org/stats.php Fechner, J. (2006). Distracted Driving: The Impact Your Phone Has on Your Driving [PDF Document]. Retrieved from http://www.nads-sc.uiowa.edu/press/pdf/press/20061102_WQAD-TV_DrivingDistracted.pdf Ford Motor Company (2009). Driving Day Camp for Teens Focuses on Safe Driving. Retrieved from http://www.thefordstory.com/safety/driving-day-camp-for-teens-focuses-on-safe-driving/ Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (2006). State Agencies Encourage Motorists to Practice Safe Driving. Retrieved from http://www.safeny.com/press/pr-040606.htm Keeler, T.E. (1994). Highway Safety, Economic Behavior, and Driving Environment. The American Economic Review, 84(3), 684-693. Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. (2003). Drive for Life:  The National Safe Driving Test & Initiative [PDF Document]. Retrieved from http://www.safedrivingtest.com/press_releases/poll_driversadmit.pdf Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009). Announcement: Drowsy Driving Prevention Week – November 2-8, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5842a5.htm Mynttinem, S., Gatscha, M., Koivukoski, M., Hakuli, K., Keskinen, E. (2010). Two-Phase Driver Education Models Applied in Finland and in Austria – Do We Have Evidence to Support the Two Phase Models? Transportation Research, 13(1). doi: 10.1016/j.trf.2009.11.002 Richtel, M. (2009). Drivers and Legislators Dismiss Cellphone Risks.  Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/technology/19distracted.html Texas Transportation Institute (2010). Teen Driving Safety Case Study:Garland Texas and Mesquite, Texas [PDF Document]. Retrieved from http://www.ci.garland.tx.us/NR/rdonlyres/A125CB16-0CC4-4E9C-8D3F 8524A005BE6E/0/GarlandTDS.pdf U.S. Department of Transportation (2010). Statistics and Facts about Distracted Driving. Retrieved from http://www.distraction.gov/stats-and-facts/ Written by Kristin Cheung

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