Online Program

Cell phone use while driving; How utahns' risk perceptions and attitudes influence behavior across demographic factors

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Logan Cowan, MPH(c), Health Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Brianna Magnusson, PhD, MPH, Health Science Department, Brigham Young Unviersity, Provo, UT
Carl Hanson, PhD, CHES, Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Steven M. Thygerson, PhD, MSPH, CIH, Department of Health Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Introduction: The rise in cell phone ownership and use while driving has resulted in an epidemic of distracted driving. The purpose of this project is to describe the distribution and predictors of cell phone use while driving by sociodemographic factors among Utah drivers'. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 1,201 randomly selected Utahns over 18 was conducted. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between talking on the phone while driving and the perceptions of the risk of distracted driving, attitudes, behaviors and demographic characteristics.

Results: Sixty-six percent reported talking while driving and 26% reported texting and driving. Drivers who were younger, had higher incomes, had children <18 at home, and were surveyed by cell phone were more likely to talk on the phone while driving. Those who believed that using a cell phone while driving was risky, who supported an all driver cell phone ban, and were deterred by threat of a ticket were less likely talk while driving. Utahns 25-34 years of age had the highest odds of talking while driving (AOR:6.22, 95% CI:3.04-12.72) compared to those 60+ years. Utahns who indicated that talking on a cell phone does not increase the risk of an accident were five-times (AOR:5.05, 95% CI 1.89-13.51) as likely to talk on their cell phone while driving as those who said it did increase risk of an accident.

Conclusion: Inaccurate perceptions of the risk of cell phone use while driving persist. Public health interventions in Utah should continue to target younger drivers.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify population subgroups at increased risk for talking and texting while driving behavior Formulate intervention ideas informed by survey results and analysis

Keyword(s): Risk Assessment, Motor Vehicles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a graduate student who has conducted research under the supervision of research faculty. In pursuing my MPH degree, I have a primary authorship peer-reviewed publication and have participated in other research projects. I have successfully completed course work related to research methods, writing, analysis, and ethics.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.