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Mobile phone use among car drivers and motorcycle riders: The effect of problematic mobile phone use, attitudes, beliefs and perceived risk

Authors: 

Duy Q. Nguyen-Phuoc*, Oscar Oviedo-Trespalacios, Diep Ngoc Su, ChrisDe Gruyter, Teron Nguyen

Source title: 
Accident Analysis and Prevention, 143: 105592, 2020 (ISI)
Academic year of acceptance: 
2020-2021
Abstract: 

Mobile phone use while driving presents significant risks, potentially leading to injury or death through distracted driving. Using a case study of Vietnam, this research aimed to understand the effect of problematic mobile phone use (also known as mobile phone addiction or compulsive mobile phone use), attitudes and beliefs, and perceived risk on the frequency of mobile phone use among motorcyclists and car drivers. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to motorcyclists (n1= 529) and car drivers (n2= 328) using an online survey and face-to-face survey. The survey took around 20-min to complete and participants were entered into a lottery for supermarket vouchers. Of the motorcyclists, 42% of the sample (the highest proportion) was in the 18-25 age group while the 36-45 age group accounted for the highest proportion among car drivers (34.8%). Using structural equation modelling (SEM), key findings showed that each construct influenced mobile phone use, but in different ways for motorcycle riders and car drivers. Attitudes and beliefs had the largest effect on mobile phone use while riding among motorcyclists, with problematic mobile phone use having the smallest influence. In contrast, problematic mobile phone use had the largest effect on mobile phone use while driving a car, with attitudes and beliefs having the smallest effect. The findings of this study point to the need for tailored interventions involving a range of actors (policymakers, police enforcement, mental health professionals, advocacy groups and the wider community) to raise awareness, modify attitudes and increase risk perception associated with mobile phone use while driving/riding. This can be achieved thorough educational tools and road safety campaigns which are focused on reducing this risky driving behaviour. This includes customising road safety programs for individuals and groups affected by problematic mobile phone use such as targeted advertising.