Focus Group Guide

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Should the State of Tennessee Require ‘Hands-Free’ Cellular Phone Use in Automobiles?

Lenora Lubega

Introduction

Hello, my name is Lenora Lubega and I would like to welcome all of you to our focus discussion group. I will be the moderator.

Our purpose for meeting today is to discuss ‘hands-free’ cellular telephone use while driving in the State of Tennessee, and to get your feedback on how you feel about the driving while using a cellular device. This focus group’s intent is to openly and discuss the question: “Should the State of Tennessee require ‘hands-free’ cellular phone use in automobiles?

Everyone here this evening is an automobile driver living in the State of Tennessee. This will be a short discussion that will require an hour and thirty minutes of your time to complete. Our time will be very limited; and we will not take a break. The restrooms are conveniently located at either end of the hall. I would like to remind you that this session is highly confidential. Once this session ends, no one’s name will be used in any way outside of this group. Everyone signed consent forms to participate in tonight’s discussion. If there is anyone here that has not signed a consent form, please do so before we began tonight’s discussion or you will not be allowed to participate in this discussion group.

For transcription purposes of the discussion there will be an audio recording. I will listen to the recording and prepare my final summary of our focus group accordingly.

This will be an informal discussion group. You are encouraged to ask any questions or make any comments that you feel are pertinent to our discussion. Please speak freely, and if anything is unclear, please ask. The intent of this focus group is to ask, listen, and observe.

As stated in the consent, please keep everyone’s identities and response confidential once you leave the group. We want to encourage oneness and honesty for everyone involved.

We will begin this discussion by finding out a little bit more about each another. If I could have everyone give their name or a nickname, your occupation, and the type of cell phone that you own. I will go first and we will proceed to my right.

Data Collection

Warm-up Discussion: If you could take out a piece of paper and write a short paragraph on an experience you have had in dealing with drivers who are distracted by the use of a cell phone.

Next I will like to ask if you, yourself us a hands free device with your cell phone? Have you used any of the newer apps that allow you to talk and text? Is it burdensome or easy to do? Does your car have a synchronizing device? How often do you us it?

Secondary Research: An estimated 3,092 traffic fatalities in 2010 were blamed on distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than one in six drivers send text messages while driving, and nearly half of drivers less than 25 years old are doing it, according to a NHTSA survey released last week. "This is becoming the new DUI," said Robert Sumwalt, a member of the safety board. "It's becoming an epidemic." The District of Columbia and 35 states ban text messaging for all drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. No state bans all cellphone use for drivers, but nine states and D.C. ban drivers from using handheld cellphones while driving. • In September 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned commercial drivers from text messaging while operating trucks and buses. The rule applies to about 4 million drivers. • In the past few years the board has investigated a train collision in which the engineer was texting that killed 25 people in Chatsworth, Calif.; a fatal accident on the Delaware River near Philadelphia in which a tugboat pilot was talking on his cellphone and using a laptop computer; and a Northwest Airlines flight that sped more than 100 miles past its destination because...
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