Webinar on: Driver interactions with mobile phones – driving performance and safety implications


Today, drivers can interact with their mobile phones in a multitude of ways while driving. With the advent of social media and other communication apps, the driver is constantly connected to their social worlds through their mobile phone.

The aim of this webinar is to provide listeners with an understanding of the basic mechanisms of driver distraction, and the types of decrements in driving performance and safety risk associated with a range of driver interactions with mobile phones. It is envisaged that listeners will gain an appreciation of the risks involved with mobile phone engagements that are commonly undertaken in everyday driving (e.g. text messaging, hands-free phone conversations etc.).


Prof. Michael (Mike) Regan is Chief Scientist-Human Factors at ARRB Group, and an Adjunct Professor with the School of Aviation at the University of NSW in Sydney, Australia. Mike has more than 20 years’ experience in transportation safety and human factors research, and is the author/co-author of some 250 published research reports, articles and papers. He is a recognised world expert on driver distraction and inattention.

Mitchell (Mitch) Cunningham is a graduate psychologist with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree from The University of Sydney, and a Master of Research Degree in Psychology from Macquarie University. Mitch has undertaken critical reviews of literature and he is the lead author of a book chapter on driver distraction in a book series on Transport and Sustainability. Mitch is the lead author of several conference papers on distraction and automated vehicles, and has specialist skills in the analysis of both quantitative and qualitative psychological data.

Why is driver distraction a significant road safety issue?

  • US
    • ~18% of injury crashes
    • ~10% of fatal crashes
    • 14% of all fatal crashes involved cell phone use
  • Australia
    • Driver inattention contributing factor in ~58% of crashes
    • Driver distraction accounted for ~16% of these crashes
    • 70% of distractions considered voluntary

An Australian Government survey of mobile phone ownership:

  • 93% of Australian drivers own a mobile phone
  • 59% report mobile phone use while driving
  • 28% of drivers report using a hands-free kit

Consider exposure: – 32.6million mobiles – 24million Aussies – 135% penetration

What is driver distraction?

“…the diversion of attention away from activities critical for safe driving toward a competing activity, which may result in in inattention.” – Regan & Strayer (2014)


More information is available in this webinar.