Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Civil Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Mohammad Jalayer, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Yusuf Mehta, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Cheng Zhu, Ph.D.


Cellphone-involved Crashes, Distracted Driving, Floating Car Method, New Jersey, Observational Data


Distracted driving--New Jersey


Civil Engineering | Transportation Engineering


Every year, thousands of people die in the United States due to crashes involving distracted driving, with this cause contributing to 25% of all fatal traffic crashes in New Jersey in particular. Over the past several years, various techniques (e.g., surveys, crash reports, videos, and simulations) were developed and implemented by the transportation safety community to identify and evaluate distracted driving events. However, these methods collect cross-sectional data on individual subjects and do not provide the actual number of distractions on the road. To fill this gap, this study collected longitudinal data on distracted driving events in the state of New Jersey. The method involved a data collection crew continuously driving through the selected corridors to track driver distraction events by manual counting and video recording. The event data on distracted driving was analyzed to find the significance of various temporal features and geometric properties of roadways on the rate of distraction. The video data from the observational study was utilized to detect driving behaviors using a deep learning algorithm. In addition, this study also performed a systematic literature review to identify the best practices for mitigating distracted driving crashes and analyzed historical crash data to identify which factors significantly contribute to the severity of such crashes. The results from the analysis of event data demonstrated that cellphone use is the most prominent type of distraction. They also showed that the number of distractions - such as receiving calls, grooming, and talking to passengers - was significantly affected by both the time of day and by roadway type. It is expected that the results obtained from this study will further assist state and local agencies in promoting awareness and reducing distracted driving in New Jersey.