Mobile phone use amongst New Zealand drivers
Sullman, M J M
Baas, P H
Research has shown that using a mobile phone whilst driving may increase the risk of being crash involved by as much as nine times. As around 65% of New Zealand's population own mobile phones, this represents a potentially very significant hazard. In order to effectively target interventions towards those drivers who use mobile phones while driving, information is needed about the characteristics of these drivers. The present study investigated the frequency of mobile phone use on New Zealand's roads and the characteristics of drivers who use mobile phones while driving. The research found that more than half (57.31%) of the participants used a mobile phone at least occasionally while driving. Those who reported using a mobile phone more often whilst driving tended to; be male, reside in a main urban area, report a higher annual mileage, drive a later model car with a larger engine, prefer a higher driving speed, have less driving experience (in years) and to be younger. In line with previous research, there was also a significant relationship between crash involvement and use of a mobile phone whilst driving. However, once the contributions of the demographic and descriptive variables had been partialled Out, using hierarchical logistic regression, the relationship between crash involvement and mobile phone use was no longer significant.