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Examining the relationship between road traffic accidents and mobile phone addiction

texting and driving
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Research published in the International Journal of Vehicle Safety looks at the relationship between mobile phone addiction and road traffic accidents in two groups of drivers those who were involved in an accident and those who were not. The team surveyed 240 drivers about their mobile phone use, split between the two groups and found, perhaps obviously, that the drivers who revealed themselves to have an "addiction" to mobile phone use were more likely to have been injured in a road traffic accident than the ones who were not addicted.

Afarin Akhavan and Adel Ashrafi of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the Science and Arts University and Gholam Hossein Halvani, Moein Nemati, and Rohollah Fallah Madvari of the Department of Occupational Health Engineering at the Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences in Yazd, Iran, write that road traffic accidents are listed as the leading cause of death by the World Health Organization with some 20 to 50 million people dying each year in such accidents.

The mortality rate in low-income countries is significantly higher than in richer nations. Iran suffers disproportionately from road traffic deaths, with an incidence of five times the global average. Increasing numbers of vehicles on our roads, changes in lifestyle and driving behavior seem to be nudging those figures upwards each year. The team hoped to identify a relatively recent factor that may be contributing to the increasing number of deaths on the roads—mobile addiction—and focused on one of the regions in Iran, Khuzestan, where the accident rate is notably higher than elsewhere.

Given that earlier research suggests that 93% of accidents are caused by human behavior rather than vehicle or road failure, with tiredness and distractions being responsible for many. Of course, the use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited in many places and limited to hands-free use, there is inevitably a large number of drivers who continue to use their devices despite the obvious risks. The demonstration of a direct link between mobile phone addiction and points to the need for more research into this phenomenon and perhaps ways to combat mobile phone , as well as the need to educate drivers who are users in an effort to reduce the deaths on Iranian roads and elsewhere.

More information: Adel Ashrafi et al, Relationship between mobile phone addiction and driving accidents in two groups of drivers with and without accidents, International Journal of Vehicle Safety (2023). DOI: 10.1504/IJVS.2022.10054759

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Citation: Examining the relationship between road traffic accidents and mobile phone addiction (2023, March 21) retrieved 19 July 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-03-relationship-road-traffic-accidents-mobile.html
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