Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Talking on your cell phone while driving may be hazardous to your close relationships

Date:
June 15, 2010
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
Warnings about the dangers of distracted driving while using a cell phone are prevalent these days, but cell phone use while driving may also put family relationships in jeopardy, says a professor.

Warnings about the dangers of distracted driving while using a cell phone are prevalent these days, but cell phone use while driving may also put family relationships in jeopardy, says University of Minnesota professor Paul Rosenblatt.

Related Articles


The same factors that make using a cell phone while driving more hazardous -- longer reaction times and impaired attention -- can also make family communication in that situation more risky, says Rosenblatt in an article in the current issue of Family Science Review. The article, authored by Rosenblatt and graduate student Xiaohui Li, provides a speculative theoretical analysis on the topic. Rosenblatt is a family social science professor in the university's College of Education and Human Development.

"If we assume that the relationship risks involved in talking on a cell phone while driving are similar to the driving risks -- both tasks involve divided attention and distraction -- we can develop ideas about how a family relationship may be impaired," Rosenblatt says in the article.

For example, studies have indicated that cell phone use while driving leads to slower reaction times on the road. This could translate to the driver's cell phone conversation as well.

"A delay in the conversation could be a problem if the person (spouse or partner) on the other end of the conversation interprets the delayed reaction as an indicator of ambivalence, of not having a ready answer or of hiding something. This all leads to upsetting the partner," Rosenblatt says.

And, what if the driver misses important details of the conversation? This could lead to misunderstandings and more hard feelings, he says.

"In general, cell phone usage while driving might lead to missed relationship stop lights, slow reactions to dangerous relationship circumstances, loss of control of one's part of the interaction, and interaction mistakes that could lead to conflict, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and possibly even serious damage to the relationship," Rosenblatt says in the article.

The partner who is not driving might be worried about the driver's safety and may cut a conversation short so the driver can concentrate, but the driver might interpret that in a negative way.

In addition to the relationship problems created by talking on cell phone while driving, a number of problems arise that both people have when one of them is driving while talking on a cell phone.

The lack of visual cues including gestures, facial expressions and posture creates challenges. Poor cell phone reception and the noise from the automobile and the road can all contribute to misunderstandings, he says.

In the article, Rosenblatt explores five hypothetical examples of possible relationship problems that could arise when a driver is talking with a family member via cell phone. The examples he explores include the partner asking the driver to run an errand; a family member calls with good news; a family member calls with bad news; arguments over the phone and apologies over the phone. Each of the scenarios can be wrought with frustration and misunderstanding.

Most relationships can manage the added difficulties related to cell phone use.

"However, for couples in which things have been so difficult that they both are considering ending the relationship, problems arising from a difficult phone conversation, may push their relationship to the tipping point," Rosenblatt says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Talking on your cell phone while driving may be hazardous to your close relationships." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615105257.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2010, June 15). Talking on your cell phone while driving may be hazardous to your close relationships. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615105257.htm
University of Minnesota. "Talking on your cell phone while driving may be hazardous to your close relationships." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615105257.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins