Women, drivers aged
Women, drivers aged <25 years, and drivers without passengers are more likely to use their phones while driving compared with their counterparts on Texas medical and academic campuses.
The Preventive Medicine Reports study assessed drivers’ cell phone use (CPU) over a 3-year period in 6 Texan cities. Specifically, researchers examined CPU among 1280 vehicles stopped at major intersections on campuses.
The data observers stood on sidewalk corners and recorded the activity of the first unobstructed vehicle’s driver in a randomly selected lane.
The overall prevalence of CPU was 18.7%, with women, young drivers, and solitary drivers being more likely to engage in CPU, which was defined as texting, talking with a handheld device, or talking into a hands-free device. While general CPU and talking on the phone decreased between 2011 and 2013, texting appeared to increase, according to the authors.
The researchers suggested targeting public health campaigns related to texting and CPU specifically at women and younger drivers.
“The high prevalence of CPU in highly congested vehicle and pedestrians areas across Texas supports banning driver CPU in academic and medical campuses to increase safety,” the researchers concluded.
Previous research has shown that texting while driving contributed to almost 16,000 traffic fatalities between 2001 and 2007.