Mobile phone use while riding a motorcycle and crashes among university students

Traffic Inj Prev. 2019;20(2):204-210. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2018.1546048. Epub 2019 Mar 19.


Objective: Motorcycle crashes are a significant road safety challenge, particularly in many low- and middle-income countries where motorcycles represent the vast majority of their vehicle fleet. Though risky riding behaviors, such as speeding and riding under the influence of alcohol, have been identified as important contributors to motorcycle crashes, little is understood about the effect of using a mobile phone while riding on motorcycle crash involvement. This article investigates crash involvement among motorcycle riders with risky riding behaviors, particularly using a mobile phone while riding.

Methods: Data were obtained from an online survey of university students' risky riding behaviors in Vietnam administered between March and May 2016 (n = 665).

Results: Results show that 40% of motorcycle riders reported to have experienced a crash/fall and nearly 24% of motorcycle riders indicated that they had been injured in a crash/fall. Effects of mobile phone use while riding on safety of motorcycle riders are highlighted. Specifically, more frequent use of a mobile phone for texting or searching for information while riding is associated with a higher chance of being involved in a crash/fall. The results also show that drink riding is associated with a higher chance of being injured.

Conclusions: Overall this article reveals significant safety issues of using a mobile phone while riding a motorcycle, providing valuable insight for designing education and publicity campaigns.

Keywords: Risky behavior; crash; injury; mobile phone; motorcycle.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Cell Phone Use / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Motorcycles* / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Text Messaging / statistics & numerical data
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vietnam / epidemiology
  • Young Adult