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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1856-1862

Mobile phone use while driving: Prevalence, task management strategies, risk perception and attitude among Qassim University students


1 Family Medicine Academy, Qassim Health Cluster, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia
2 Research and Innovation Unit, Family Medicine Academy, Qassim Health Cluster, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Laila Abdulrahman Almansoor
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Al-Qassim Region, Buraydah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2351_20

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Background: Globally, motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) cause around 1.35 million deaths annually. Distracted driving, a risk factor for MVA, includes diversion of attention from driving because of use of mobile phone. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine prevalence of mobile phone use and to explore task management strategies, risk perception and attitude towards mobile phone use while driving among Qassim University students. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey among 212 randomly selected medical (n = 83) and engineering students (n = 129) of Qassim University, Saudi Arabia, through semi-structured, self-administered questionnaire, designed using Google forms. The survey was conducted from February to March 2020. Results: The overall prevalence of mobile phone use while driving was 93.4% (medical students: 96.4%; engineering students: 91.5%). Around 49.5% participants 'often' or 'always' used mobile phone while driving. Among task management strategies, 169 (79.7%) participants were 'likely' or 'very likely' to lower their driving speed while 90 (42.5%) were 'likely' or 'very likely' to increase control over the steering while using mobile phone during driving. Regarding risk perception, 173 (81.6%) participants thought that they were 'unlikely' or 'very unlikely' to have MVA on looking at phone continuously for more than 2 s, and 185 (87.3%) participants thought that they were 'unlikely' or 'very unlikely' to have MVA by texting or browsing while driving. Thirty-six (17%) participants reported MVA because of distraction by mobile phone use while driving. Conclusion: High prevalence of mobile phone use during driving and low perceived risk of experiencing MVA because of mobile phone use was found among Qassim University students. Creating awareness on risks of mobile phone use while driving is recommended.


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