Paul Atchley and David L. Strayer


The increased availability of “small screens,” wireless devices with Internet-enabled connections, and their associated applications has almost overnight changed the way that we interact with our phones. The current work outlines some of the aspects of this problem as it relates to the influence of small screens on driving safety. Small screens are highly compelling to drivers, both for the information they convey and because the ability to ignore them while driving is impaired by cognitive resources used by the driving task itself. However, much is unknown about why people make choices to multitask while driving. Given the safety risks, it is recommended that parents, the public, and regulators take a stand against the use of Internet-enabled small screens unrelated to driving when the vehicle is in motion.

This article was published in a special 2017 supplement of Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The supplement, “Children, Adolescents and Screens: What We Know and What We Need To Learn,” was produced by Children and Screens and includes the contributions of more than 130 interdisciplinary authors across 22 papers. See a complete list of articles included in the supplement.

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