MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michelle Wilkinson, MPH
Doctoral Candidate Epidemiology
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health
Houston, TX 77030
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Cell phone use (CPU) while driving impairs visual awareness and reaction time, increasing frequency of near-collisions, collisions, and accidents with injuries. National prevalence estimates of driver cell phone use range from 5-10%. Medical and academic centers have large concentrations of young, ill, or elderly pedestrians and drivers, who are often unfamiliar with the congested environment. Drivers distracted by Cell phone use are a safety threat to pedestrians and drivers in these demanding environments. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and correlates of cell phone use among Texas drivers in major medical and academic centers, 2011-2013. This study found the overall prevalence of cell phone use while driving was 18%. The prevalence of Cell phone useand talking declined, while texting increased during the study period. Cell phone users were more likely to be female, <25 years old, and driving without a passenger.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Cell phone use remains prevalent among drivers in Texas academic and medical campuses. This study found a higher prevalence of CPU than previous studies. Females and younger drivers appear to be more likely to engage in Cell phone use , thus public safety campaigns should target these groups.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future legislation should incorporate public health campaigns targeting high risk groups to stop CPU while driving and reduce traffic related injuries.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melinda C Power, ScD (2015). Women, Young Drivers More Likely to Talk or Text While Driving