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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29

Epidemiology of Handheld Cell Phone Use While Driving: A Study from a South Indian City

Department of Community Medicine, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sumanth Mallikarjuna Majgi
Department of Community Medicine, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, Mysore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_72_17

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Background: Using cell phones while driving contribute to distractions which can potentially cause minor or major road traffic injuries and also stress among other drivers. With this background, the study was done to ascertain the proportion of handheld cell phone use while driving among road users in Mysore city and also patterns of the use by the day of week, type of road, and type of vehicle. Methods: The study was conducted in Mysore, Karnataka, India. Four stretches of roads were observed thrice daily for 1 week. The total number of vehicles passing through the stretch and the number and characteristics of drivers using hand-held cell was noted. Pearson's Chi-square test was used to ascertain the significance of the difference in proportions. Results: The overall proportion of cell phone users was calculated as 1.41/100 vehicles. The observed use of handheld cell phones was 1.78 times higher on nonbusy roads than busy roads (Χ2 = 25.79, P < 0.0001). More than 50% of the handheld phone users were driving a two wheeler, the proportion being 50.5% in busy roads, and 67% in nonbusy roads. There was no difference in the proportion of cell phone use by time of the day or across different days of the week. Conclusions: The proportion of drivers who use cell phones is found to be relatively lower, and use of cell phones was higher on nonbusy roads.

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