Causation and control: Understanding distracted driving in Australia through a systems thinking lens

Article


Abedi, Masoumeh, Read, Gemma J.M., McLean, Scott, Wynne, Rachael A., Hulme, Adam, Thompson, Jason, McClure, Rod and Salmon, Paul M.. 2024. "Causation and control: Understanding distracted driving in Australia through a systems thinking lens." Safety Science. 173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2024.106435
Article Title

Causation and control: Understanding distracted driving in Australia through a systems thinking lens

ERA Journal ID3717
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsAbedi, Masoumeh, Read, Gemma J.M., McLean, Scott, Wynne, Rachael A., Hulme, Adam, Thompson, Jason, McClure, Rod and Salmon, Paul M.
Journal TitleSafety Science
Journal Citation173
Article Number106435
Number of Pages14
Year2024
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN0925-7535
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2024.106435
Web Address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925753524000250
Abstract

Introduction
Distracted driving is a significant threat to road safety worldwide, contributing to fatal crashes and injuries. Current countermeasures have shown limited efficacy, necessitating a more comprehensive approach to address driver distraction. This research adopts systems thinking methods to understand the complexities of managing driver distraction in the Australian road transport system.

Aims
This research includes two studies that aimed to (1) develop a Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) to identify the interrelated variables influencing distracted driving (study 1), (2) create and validate a System Theoretic Accident Model and Process (STAMP) control structure model to identify the actors, control and feedback mechanisms involved in managing driver distraction, and (3) determine who creates and manages risk factors related to distracted driving (study 2).

Material and methods
To develop the CLD, the research team used two group modelling processes and SME workshops for validation. The STAMP control structure model was created by modifying a road safety control structure to fit the distracted driving context and its validation using a modified Delphi technique.

Results
The CLD included many variables that contribute to distracted driving, including societal pressures, access to driving technologies, distracting passengers, work-related pressures, and social media use. The STAMP control structure model identified 146 actors involved in the management of driver distraction, with 74 unique control mechanisms and 47 unique feedback mechanisms currently used for managing distracted driving. Mapping stakeholders identified in the STAMP control structure onto the CLD, identified 24 stakeholders who influence the risk factors associated with driver distraction and 29 stakeholders involved in managing them, emphasizing distinct roles between the creators and managers of these risk factors.

Conclusion
By applying systems thinking-based methods, the two studies conducted in this research project provided insights into driver distraction and its management. This research contributes to road safety efforts and provides useful insights to policymakers, researchers, and practitioners in addressing distracted driving and improving road safety.

KeywordsCLD; Distracted driving ; Road safety ; Systems thinking ; Risk management ; STAMP
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 20203503. Business systems in context
Public NotesFiles associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of the Sunshine Coast
University of Newcastle
University of Southampton, United Kingdom
University of Queensland
University of Melbourne
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