Previous research has shown that use of a mobile phone while driving impairs driving performance. With ‘smartphones’ now becoming common in the commercial marketplace, more and more drivers are able to engage in a broad range of possible activities on their phone. This study set out to investigate whether there was an effect of social networking using a smartphone on driving performance. Twenty-eight young male and female participants took part in the study and drove a driving simulator through the same test scenario twice: once while using a smartphone to interact with a social networking site, and once without this distraction. The results of the experiment clearly show that participants’ driving performance was impaired by the concurrent smartphone task, and the smartphone task was also affected by driving.

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