The apparently higher crash risk among individuals who use cell phones while driving may be due both to the direct interference of cell phone use with the driving task and tendencies to engage in risky driving behaviors independent of cell phone use. Measurements of actual highway driving performance, self-reported aberrant driving behaviors as measured by the Manchester Driver Behavior Questionnaire (DBQ), and attitudes toward speeding, passing behaviors and relative concern about being involved in a crash were assessed. Individuals who reported frequently using cell phones while driving were found to drive faster, change lanes more frequently, spend more time in the left lane, and engage in more instances of hard braking and high acceleration events. They also scored higher in self-reported driving violations on the DBQ and reported more positive attitudes toward speeding and passing than drivers who did not report using a cell phone regularly while driving. These results indicate that a greater reported frequency of cell phone use while driving is associated with a broader pattern of behaviors that are likely to increase the overall risk of crash involvement.
Keywords: Accident risk; Age; Cell phone; Driving behavior questionnaire (DBQ); Driving performance; Gender.
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