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The current study is going to discuss about the article titled “Driver performance while text messaging using handheld and in-vehicle systems”. The methodology used for answering the current research questions will be analysed in detail.
The authors of the current article are Justin M. Owens, Shane B. McLaughlin and Jeremy Sudweeks. The main research question addressed by the current authors is as depicted below:
How the performances of the divers are influenced by text messaging by a hand holding mobile phone and with an in-vehicle messaging system. It can be stated that the text messaging activity conducted in different platforms are responsible for moderating the performance of the drivers while driving any vehicle. It is found by the authors from the secondary resources that it is more detrimental to be engaged in text messaging irrespective of the medium than at the time of calling. It is a new approach to studying the performance of a diver while driving and text messaging via mobile phone and vehicle based system. As the use of in-vehicle electronic systems have increased eventually, this is considered as quite challenging by the safety researchers (Fletcher, 2017). This research question is leading to the answers that are lawmakers looking for regarding developing regulations that would optimise the safety performance of the divers.
The past researchers have implemented various approaches for studying the problem including use of driving stimulators, naturalistic observation and on-road testing. On the other hand, other studies have also use different other approaches such as carrying out an examination of the safety aspects of text massaging at the time of driving. One of the researchers has used a driving stimulator in order to investigate the text messaging contexts in different situations of driving. Situations such as following another vehicle, avoiding a pedestrian, tasks related to changing the lanes. The approach also included a training session for the drivers regarding using cell phone embedded with a predictive text input accompanied by the responsibility of answering some questions that were loaded previously on a phone. A naturalistic driving study has been conducted by the researchers if risks of crashes increase due to using a hand held device while driving (Mohajan, 2018). Therefore, researchers more or less attempted to address the driving performances while text messaging or using some other device for calling or messaging.
The current research has adopted the method of conducting the text portion of the study on a road closed. After that the same is repeated in a public-road. The tasks drivers needed to complete is dialling contacts, selecting music tracks, conducting conversations over phone, using hand held devices or using in-vehicles system. In order to conduct the experiment in the closed rod portion, drivers are provided training through 15 predetermined text message inputs and allowed to practice before starting driving on road. Previous approaches are different from the current approach as those researchers have used naturalistic observation method where perception of the researchers could have influenced the results of the study. The use of experimental design where 2 X 2 X 2 mixed factorial design has been used (Taherdoost, 2016). Depending more on the hazard trials lead the previous studies face issues where the results can be biased after a certain level of trials have been completed.
The total number of participants taken part in this study is twenty. The participants were categorised into two age groups. One age group consisted of participants aged between 19 and 34 and another group of participants were aged between 39 and 51. The inclusion criteria were regular use of in-vehicle system. No participant of the study was experienced with text messaging. The sample of study has been characterised by being an owner of vehicle that is equipped with SYNC system. These people have been contacted and screened so that the regular users can be identified. 9 female and 11 male participants have been selected through this process. Participants have been paid $20 per hour of participation. Additionally, $5 has been provided for any expense used for cellular minutes used and for text messages. It has been found in a study that degradation of steering measures may take place while a person driving and text messaging with a hand held device.
Using factorial design helped the current researchers to study several factors at a time. For instance, driving performance of the drivers may be differently affected in different experimental situation such as selecting music tracks, dialing numbers, text messaging, using in-vehicle system and others along with changes in the outcomes of on-road experiment and road closed experiment could have been studied with the help of factorial design. It is feasible to use here as there are several independent variables studied here. Additional factors such as views of the participants their aspects of performances could also be studied through this design. There are a range of experimental conditions that have been used in the study; factorial design has assisted in drawing valid conclusions. A quasi-experimental design could be used instead of factorial design when manipulation of the variables could be conducted without assigning the participants in random order (Ørngreen & Levinsen, 2017). However, this could not provide the opportunity to study multiple variables or factors at a time.
The main dependent variable studied in the current study is the degree of performance that is affected by a number of tasks while driving on-road or closed road. Additionally, the current study has conducted an evaluation of the degree of mental effort that is required for completing the task, frequency of changes in the glances and steering measures. These are considered dependent variable as these have been predicted to be affected by different tasks as mentioned earlier. The research question was how the performances are affected by use of hand held mobile phone use and in-vehicle system use (Ulmer, 2017). Therefore, these are the appropriate dependent variable of the study. For instance, while conducting different tasks at a time the more mental effort is put on a task the other is likely to be degraded.
Independent variables are those that are manipulated in an experiment to determine its impacts upon the dependent variables. As earlier discussed the dependent variable of the study is the driver’s performance. The factors that have been studied in this research for measuring its impacts on driving performance are different kinds of vehicles and different types of mechanisms use at the time of driving. Based on the attempts of the researcher to answer the question of the study some conceptual questions can be formed to understand how the question has been answered.
These are the conceptual questions that lead to the answer to research question. For instance, discovery of the interrelationship between the degrees of mental effort required to be put at the time of driving and performance of the drivers may help in finding out answers to the research questions by indicating likelihood of accidents. The measurement of steering control is also indicative of risk factors and different situations are likely to influence the behavior thus performance of the drivers.
The data collected by the researchers can be combined with on-road experiment results with the closed road experiment results so that the main effect of the predictors such as use of mobile phone while driving may be studied in effective ways. The hypothesis would be following:
H0: There is no significant difference between performance effectiveness of the drivers with the same independent variables in the context of on-road and closed road driving
HA: There is a significant different between performance effectiveness of the drivers with the same independent variables in the context of on-road and closed road driving
The t-test, measurement of significance could be used here. The first order interaction is between the number of tasks performed at a time and its impacts upon performance of driving (Basias & Pollalis, 2018). This can be implemented is reducing the mental engagement of the drivers at the time of driving
The external validity can be studied by understanding its appropriateness expect the context of the current context of the study. As the study has included on-road experiments it has gained external validity as the results can be generalised in practical driving situation. The internal validity of the study high has the cause effect relationship is true within the context of the current study (Cuervo‐Cazurra et al., 2017). The external validity can be increased with the inclusion different emergency and dangerous situation to demonstrate its effects on driving.
Therefore, studying the degree of mental effort put can be considered in judging the performance of the drivers. Similarly, changing glances also increases the risk of degradation of performance. Therefore, studying the phenomenon could have appropriately answered how the performance is affected.
Basias, N., & Pollalis, Y. (2018). Quantitative and qualitative research in business & technology: Justifying a suitable research methodology. Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 7, 91-105.
Cuervo‐Cazurra, A., Mudambi, R., Pedersen, T., & Piscitello, L. (2017). Research methodology in global strategy research. Global Strategy Journal, 7(3), 233-240.
Fletcher, A. J. (2017). Applying critical realism in qualitative research: methodology meets method. International journal of social research methodology, 20(2), 181-194.
Mohajan, H. K. (2018). Qualitative research methodology in social sciences and related subjects. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, 7(1), 23-48.
Ørngreen, R., & Levinsen, K. (2017). Workshops as a Research Methodology. Electronic Journal of E-learning, 15(1), 70-81.
Taherdoost, H. (2016). Sampling methods in research methodology; how to choose a sampling technique for research. How to Choose a Sampling Technique for Research (April 10, 2016).
Ulmer, J. B. (2017). Posthumanism as research methodology: Inquiry in the Anthropocene. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 30(9), 832-848.
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