Psychosocial factors associated with the self-reported frequency of cell phone use while driving in Iran
Kalantari, Amir Hossein
Yazdi, Seyedeh Monavar
Moghaddam, Abolfazl Mohammadzadeh
Sullman, Mark J. M.
Cell phone use while driving is a common contributing factor in thousands of road traffic injuries every year globally. Despite extensive research investigating the risks associated with cell phone use while driving, social media campaigns to raise public awareness and a number of laws banning phone use while driving, this behaviour remains prevalent throughout the world. The current study was conducted in Iran, where road traffic injuries are the leading causes of death and disability, and where drivers continue to use their cell phones, despite legislative bans restricting this behaviour. A total of 255 drivers in the city of Mashhad (male = 66.3%; mean age = 30.73 years; SD = 9.89) completed either an online or a paper-based survey assessing the self-reported frequency of using a cell phone while driving. Psychosocial factors contributing to cell phone use while driving and support for legislation restricting this behaviour, as well as the Big Five personality traits, were also measured. Overall, the results showed that almost 93% of drivers use their cell phones while driving at least once a week, with 32.5% reporting they always use their cell phones while driving. Ordinal logistic regression revealed that the presence of a child passenger, age, perceived benefits and risks of using cell phones while driving, as well as the perceived ability to drive safely while using a cell phone, were strongly associated with the frequency of cell phone use while driving. As for personality traits—extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness significantly predicted the frequency of cell phone use in this sample of Iranian drivers.