Cell phone filter/blocker technology field test.

Funkhouser, D. & Sayer, J.R.

Forty-four participants each received a cell phone filtering/blocking application on their employer-provided cell phones for 9 weeks. During the first and last 3 weeks, cell phone activity including calling, text messaging and application use was simply recorded in the background. During the middle 3 weeks, the cell phone filtering/blocking software was active, meaning that anytime the application sensed that the phone was moving faster than the pre-set speed threshold, all phone activity was blocked. Two different custom applications were designed for this study, one a software-only solution, and one a combination of hardware and software. Objective data on participants’ phone use behavior and subjective data (from a questionnaire) on participants’ acceptance were collected. Additionally, the impact on an organization attempting to implement a similar program employing cell phone filtering/blocking was examined. During the blocking period, participants initiated a higher proportion of their calls when stopped than when the blocking software was inactive. Also, during the blocking period, participants answered a much smaller proportion of incoming calls while driving, and outgoing calls were placed at a lower mean speed. Participants were neutral in their opinions on whether they received a safety benefit from the cell phone blocking. While the costs for an organization attempting to implement a program like this are incurred throughout the life cycle, the largest costs will likely come from the monitoring and maintenance required and through any losses in productivity associated with blocking phone use while driving. (Author/publisher)


20180315 ST [electronic version only]

Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of Transportation DOT, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA, 2013, X + 76 p., 6 ref.; NHTSA Technical Report DOT HS 811 863

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