Investigating Technology-based Countermeasures for Cell-phone Use while Driving


Recent reviews by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety noted that technology-based countermeasures such as cellphone blocking apps offer a promising approach to reducing distracted driving. However, acceptance and use of such apps remain low, especially among driving populations most prone to distraction. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is working with researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to help determine how to increase the use of technology-based countermeasures to combat distracted driving.

Project Goal and Plan

The overall aim of this project is to explore barriers hypothesized to contribute to low rates of use of smartphone technology-based countermeasures and identify ways to overcome them. Project tasks will include:

  • A literature scan will be conducted to identify characteristics of drivers who are prone to using smartphones while driving.
  • A survey will be conducted to identify and explore barriers to using technology-based countermeasures.
  • Information gathered through the survey will be used to develop educational materials intended to encourage use of a technology-based countermeasure to reduce distracted driving.
  • In-vehicle cameras and other data collection equipment will be installed in the personal vehicles of a group study participants given the educational materials, to examine their use of a technology-based distracted driving countermeasure and their driving behavior over a period of several weeks.


William J. Horrey

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety