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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 17-22

Misuse of mobile phone conversation while driving: Driver distraction a major public health problem

1 Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey; Department of Evidence for Population Health Unit, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
2 Centre for Mathematical Medicine and Biology, School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
3 Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
4 Department of Psychology, Medipol University, Istanbul, Turkey
5 Division of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Correspondence Address:
Abdulbari Bener
Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, Cerrahpa?a Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, 34098 Cerrahpasa, Istanbul

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1118-4647.187900

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Aim: The aim of the present study is to determine the frequency of mobile phone use while driving and associated factors in a sample of road traffic among Turkish drivers in Istanbul. Design: This is a cross-sectional study design. Subjects and Methods: The study included a representative sample of 1200 drivers. However, 891 drivers agreed to participate and completed the driver behavior questionnaire (DBQ). Methods: The Manchester DBQ was used to measure the aggressive and aberrant driving behaviors causing accidents in terms of sociodemographics, driving attitudes, and behaviors, adherence to traffic laws, and mobile phone use. Results: The present study expressed that the frequency of mobile phone use while driving was very high among Turkish drivers who were involved with traffic crashes. There was a significant difference found between mobile phone users and nonusers while driving in age group (P < 0.01), education (P < 0.001), occupation (P < 0.001), seat belt use (P < 0.001), vehicle type (P < 0.001), and excessive speed (P < 0.001). Furthermore, attempting to overtake, missing give way signal, and turning right/left nearly hitting other car were reported as errors. For lapses, there was no significant association found between correct and incorrect parking for drivers in all of the DBQ items. The data showed that the drivers reported higher mean scores of violations such as driving close to the car to go faster, running a red light, disregarding speed limit at night or early in the morning. Conclusion: Together, the results provide important insights into mobile phone use and its related factors among Turkish drivers. The type of vehicle, excessive speeding, occupational status, educational level, age group, seat belt use, and crossing a red light were statistically significant associated with mobile phone use among drivers who were involved in the road crashes. When drivers use a mobile phone, there is an increased likelihood of the road accidents that result in injury. There is no doubt that hands-free phone use while driving may not minimize the risk totally. In fact, advancing technology will increase mobile phone use in motor vehicles so it may cause more crashes and fatalities.

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