Mobile phone use while driving in a sample of Spanish university workers
Gras, M. Eugenia
Sullman, Mark J. M.
A number of epidemiological studies have reported drivers who use a mobile phone while driving have an elevated risk of being involved in a crash. This is particularly concerning as a survey of drivers in the Spanish region of Catalunya found that approximately 87% own mobile phones. The present study investigated the reported frequency of mobile phone use on Spanish roads (for talking and using SMS), the characteristics of the drivers who use mobile phones while driving and whether they altered their driving behaviour when using a mobile phone. The research found that more than 60% use a mobile phone while driving and that the phone is mostly used for making calls, rather than using SMS. In general, males and females use mobile phones about the same reported frequency, although males were more likely to use a mobile phone to talk on the highway. The pattern for age was the same for both male and female participants, with the younger drivers using SMS more frequently than older drivers. On urban roads almost half of the drivers reported changing their driving behaviour when using a mobile phone, while on the highway this figure was slightly over 41%. The reported frequency of using a mobile phone to talk on urban roads was significantly correlated with crash involvement. However, this affect disappeared once the contributions of the demographic and descriptive variables had been partialled out.