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The rate of hand-held mobile phone use while driving in Kerman, Iran

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Author(s): Ahad Ashrafi Asgharabad | Ahmad Naghibzadeh Tahami | Narges Khanjani

Journal: Al Ameen Journal of Medical Sciences
ISSN 0974-1143

Volume: 06;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 106;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: mobile phone | car driving | Kerman

ABSTRACT
Background: The use of mobile phones during driving is a known road accident risk factor. However, little research has been done in Iran to determine the actual rates of mobile phone use while driving. In the current study we try to estimate the rate in one major Iranian city. Methods: This cross sectional study was done in the fall of 2010. In nine streets in Kerman including three central city streets, three suburban main streets and three highways sites, both in the morning and afternoon, on two separate days; data was collected. In this study, all drivers passing from one side of the street were observed in terms of mobile phone use while driving; and gender, age range, type of the streets and hours were recorded. Results: Among the 30,733 drivers who were screened, 1118 cases (3.63%) used a mobile phone. There was no significant difference between men (3.67%) and women (3.16%) mobile phone usage (p=0.25). However there was a significant difference between use in youth ages (4.85%), middle ages (3.56%) and the elderly (1.92%) (p< 0.001). In the main downtown streets 3.34%, suburban main streets 2.18% and the ring road 4.79% of drivers used mobile phones. Mobile phone use was significantly higher in the central city streets and the ring road (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Comparing this study with similar statistics from other countries shows that the rate of mobile phone use in Kerman car drivers (as an example of the situation in Iran) is higher than some other countries. Tougher laws and more intense public education should be imposed to decrease the use of mobile phones among drivers.Keywords: mobile phone, car driving, Kerman.

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