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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 102-107

Mobile phone use while driving and the risk of collision: A study among preparatory year students at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


1 Prevention and Control of Infection Administration, King Saud Medical City, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine and King Khaled Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine and King Khaled Hospital, King Saud University; Prince Sattam Chair for Epidemiology and Public Health Research, Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Fahad S Al-Jasser
Prevention and Control of Infection Administration, King Saud Medical City, Ministry of Health, P.O. Box 105992, Riyadh, 11656
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_139_17

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OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to determine the rate of mobile phones use while driving by the students of King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, their perception of the risks, and contribution to collisions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in May 2014 targeting 986 male students of King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A questionnaire was used to obtain data on possessing a driving license, years of driving experience, driving hours, and collision or near misses in the 6 months preceding the study. Eight statements were used to assess the behavior and perceptions related to the use of mobile phones while driving. Data were analyzed using the Chi-square statistic, odds ratio, and the 95% confidence interval. RESULTS: Almost half of the participants (45.3%) had driving experience of 4–6 years and 18.3% of them did not possess a driving license. Collision in the preceding 6 months was reported by 44.6% of participants, and 37.9% of them attributed these collisions to mobile phones. Variable proportions reported that they always texted (53.3%) or talked on a handheld (66.2%) or hands-free (26.1%) phones while driving. A higher proportion conceded that there were hazards in texting (77.0%) and speaking on handheld mobile phones (83.9%) rather than hands-free (35.9%) while driving. The risk increased significantly from 2.052 among participants who reported that they drove daily for 1–2 h to 3.165 of those who reported that they drove for more than 6 h. No significant risk was observed in relation to participants' perceptions, age, driving experience, and possession of a driving license. CONCLUSIONS: There was a risk of collision with the use of handheld and hands-free mobile phones. As hands-free mobile phones are no safer, national legislation should consider restricting their use by drivers and implementing legislations to reinforce safety on the roads. An objective assessment of the contribution of mobile phones to road traffic injuries is recommended.


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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010