Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Putting the brakes on distracted driving

Date:
May 29, 2013
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
If you're still using your mobile phone behind the wheel, University of Alberta sociology researcher Abu Nurullah likely has your number.

If you're still using your mobile phone behind the wheel, University of Alberta sociology researcher Abu Nurullah likely has your number.
Credit: stockyimages / Fotolia

If you're still using your mobile phone behind the wheel, University of Alberta sociology researcher Abu Nurullah likely has your number.

Related Articles


More specifically, he can tell what statistical category you fall under. Using survey data from mid-2011 -- just months before Alberta's distracted-driving law went into effect -- Nurullah and his colleagues determined several characteristics of people who appear to top the risk scale by using cellphones while driving. The data are useful for police who have to deal with unlawful drive-and-dialers, and for policy-makers seeking to change offenders' habits with ad campaigns.

Nurullah says that although campaigns are an important piece of curbing the behaviour, social pressure from family and friends is also important.

"I think the social influence is the key one. Friends, family, employers -- they should be influencing others to reduce the use of cellphones while driving," he said. "Effective enforcement of the laws should include not only fines for such offences, but also mandatory lessons on the dangers of cellphone use while operating a vehicle."

Driving demographics: Mobile phone use by the numbers

  • Men outnumbered women by almost 10 per cent in phone use while driving. The largest proportion of offenders in both groups fell in the 35-to-44 age category.
  • The majority of mobile users had completed post-secondary education.
  • Among income brackets, the lowest income earners had the lowest level of cellphone use while driving. Rates of use increased with each income category, with those earning over $100,000 per year being the top users.
  • A slight majority of users indicated not being religious.

"These stats can be used to identify the worst offenders for effective enforcement of laws that deter cellphone use while operating a vehicle," said Nurullah. "Since males are more likely to undertake risky driving, it is expected that they would use cellphones more in driving situations."

Attitude adjustment: Social pressure and education critical

The survey also highlighted people's perceptions of the dangers of using a cellphone while driving. The majority of people -- those who used cellphones while driving and those who didn't -- agreed that texting while driving was dangerous and that cellphone use was more likely to result in a collision. But a much smaller minority said they didn't believe cellphone use is as dangerous as impaired driving.

Though the legislation introduced in 2011 may have curbed some use, Nurullah says that a common levelling-off effect means other measures need to be put in place to convince itinerant talkers to hang up and drive.

"There should be an emphasis on educating people about this, changing people's mindsets about doing this, because it is risky," he said. "There is no better alternative than social pressure because it is more effective than legal enforcement. Social media campaigns can also be designed to make people informed about safe driving practices involving the use of cellphones."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. The original article was written by Jamie Hanlon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Putting the brakes on distracted driving." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130529144419.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2013, May 29). Putting the brakes on distracted driving. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130529144419.htm
University of Alberta. "Putting the brakes on distracted driving." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130529144419.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins