Article

Distracted driving among adolescents: challenges and opportunities

University of Alabama at Birmingham University Transportation Center, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-2041, USA.
Injury Prevention (Impact Factor: 1.94). 06/2011; 17(4):285. DOI: 10.1136/injuryprev-2011-040096
Source: PubMed

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Available from: Annie A Garner, Aug 14, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: While the number of motor vehicle crashes has declined over the years, crashes resulting from distracted driving are increasing in the United States resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. The national public seems to be aware of the dangers associated with using technology while driving, but continues to engage in this dangerous behaviour, and may be unaware of or underestimate the impact of cell phone use on their own driving performance. Problems associated with distracted driving are not limited to novice or teenage drivers; multifaceted universal prevention efforts aimed at impacting large segments of the population may have the greatest impact. Legislation limiting drivers' cell phone use has had little impact, possibly due to low regulation and enforcement. Behaviour change programmes, improved vehicle safety, and public awareness campaigns have been developed as potential preventive efforts to reduce accidents caused by distracted drivers.
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    ABSTRACT: Few studies have examined the psychological factors underlying the association between cell phone use and motor vehicle crash. We sought to examine the factor structure and convergent validity of a measure of problematic cell phone use, and to explore whether compulsive cell phone use is associated with a history of motor vehicle crash. We recruited a sample of 383 undergraduate college students to complete an online assessment that included cell phone use and driving history. We explored the dimensionality of the Cell Phone Overuse Scale (CPOS) using factor analytic methods. Ordinary least-squares regression models were used to examine associations between identified subscales and measures of impulsivity, alcohol use, and anxious relationship style, to establish convergent validity. We used negative binomial regression models to investigate associations between the CPOS and motor vehicle crash incidence. We found the CPOS to be composed of four subscales: anticipation, activity interfering, emotional reaction, and problem recognition. Each displayed significant associations with aspects of impulsivity, problematic alcohol use, and anxious relationship style characteristics. Only the anticipation subscale demonstrated statistically significant associations with reported motor vehicle crash incidence, controlling for clinical and demographic characteristics (relative ratio, 1.13; confidence interval, 1.01-1.26). For each 1-point increase on the 6-point anticipation subscale, risk for previous motor vehicle crash increased by 13%. Crash risk is strongly associated with heightened anticipation about incoming phone calls or messages. The mean score on the CPOS is associated with increased risk of motor vehicle crash but does not reach statistical significance.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The objective of the present work was to study the impact of technological and social distraction on cautionary behaviours and crossing times in pedestrians. Methods Pedestrians were observed at 20 high-risk intersections during 1 of 3 randomly assigned time windows in 2012. Observers recorded demographic and behavioural information, including use of a mobile device (talking on the phone, text messaging, or listening to music). We examined the association between distraction and crossing behaviours, adjusting for age and gender. All multivariate analyses were conducted with random effect logistic regression (binary outcomes) and random effect linear regression (continuous outcomes), accounting for clustering by site. Results Observers recorded crossing behaviours for 1102 pedestrians. Nearly one-third (29.8%) of all pedestrians performed a distracting activity while crossing. Distractions included listening to music (11.2%), text messaging (7.3%) and using a handheld phone (6.2%). Text messaging, mobile phone use and talking with a companion increased crossing time. Texting pedestrians took 1.87 additional seconds (18.0%) to cross the average intersection (3.4 lanes), compared to undistracted pedestrians. Texting pedestrians were 3.9 times more likely than undistracted pedestrians to display at least 1 unsafe crossing behaviour (disobeying the lights, crossing mid-intersection, or failing to look both ways). Pedestrians listening to music walked more than half a second (0.54) faster across the average intersection than undistracted pedestrians. Conclusions Distracting activity is common among pedestrians, even while crossing intersections. Technological and social distractions increase crossing times, with text messaging associated with the highest risk. Our findings suggest the need for intervention studies to reduce risk of pedestrian injury.
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