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Article

Rethinking Cell Phone Use While Driving: Isolated Risk Behavior or a Pattern of Risk-Taking Associated with Impulsivity in Young Drivers?

1
Center for Injury Research and Prevention, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
2
Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria Anna Donati, Giulia Fioravanti, Dora Dodig Hundric and Sharon Lawn
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5640; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115640
Received: 10 April 2021 / Revised: 13 May 2021 / Accepted: 21 May 2021 / Published: 25 May 2021
This study examines whether cell phone use stands apart from a general pattern of risky driving practices associated with crashes and impulsivity-related personality traits in young drivers. A retrospective online survey study recruited 384 young drivers from across the United States using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to complete a survey measuring risky driving practices (including cell phone use), history of crashes, and impulsivity-related personality traits. Almost half (44.5%) of the drivers reported being involved in at least one crash, and the majority engaged in cell phone use while driving (up to 73%). Factor analysis and structural equation modeling found that cell phone use loaded highly on a latent factor with other risky driving practices that were associated with prior crashes (b = 0.15, [95% CI: 0.01, 0.29]). There was also an indirect relationship between one form of impulsivity and crashes through risky driving (b = 0.127, [95% CI: 0.01, 0.30]). Additional analyses did not find an independent contribution to crashes for frequent cell phone use. These results suggest a pattern of risky driving practices associated with impulsivity in young drivers, indicating the benefit of exploring a more comprehensive safe driving strategy that includes the avoidance of cell phone use as well as other risky practices, particularly for young drivers with greater impulsive tendencies. View Full-Text
Keywords: young drivers; motor vehicle crashes; cell phone use; impulsivity; risky driving practices young drivers; motor vehicle crashes; cell phone use; impulsivity; risky driving practices
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MDPI and ACS Style

Walshe, E.A.; Winston, F.K.; Romer, D. Rethinking Cell Phone Use While Driving: Isolated Risk Behavior or a Pattern of Risk-Taking Associated with Impulsivity in Young Drivers? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5640. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115640

AMA Style

Walshe EA, Winston FK, Romer D. Rethinking Cell Phone Use While Driving: Isolated Risk Behavior or a Pattern of Risk-Taking Associated with Impulsivity in Young Drivers? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(11):5640. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115640

Chicago/Turabian Style

Walshe, Elizabeth A., Flaura K. Winston, and Dan Romer. 2021. "Rethinking Cell Phone Use While Driving: Isolated Risk Behavior or a Pattern of Risk-Taking Associated with Impulsivity in Young Drivers?" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 11: 5640. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115640

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