As a logical and necessary extension of previous research (Rakauskas, et al., 2005), this study aims to assess the risk of cell phone use for traveler information applications; namely while using Minnesota's 511 interactive voice response (IVR) menu.
First, detailed usage, utility, and usability evaluations of the MN511 were conducted. The goal of this design was to help harmonize the transfer of knowledge between access methods while also easing implementation concerns for the MN511 developers. Next, a simulated driving experiment was conducted with the goal of seeing if using an IVR menu leads to more risky driving behavior compared to driving while not accessing a menu. It also allowed us to see if changing the MN511 menu might affect driver performance. While using both phone menus, drivers seemed to compensate for the additional mental workload by delaying their reactions until they felt comfortable taking action. There were no differences between the two menu types for the majority of driving performance measures.
This study addresses issues with the 511 IVR menus that were identified during this study and presents recommendations for future development.