A new distracted-driving study, conducted in six major Texas cities from 2011 to 2013, found that female drivers had higher odds of cell phone use and texting than male drivers.
Additionally, drivers under 25 years old were more likely to use a cell phone than older drivers, and drivers traveling alone were more likely to use a cell phone than drivers traveling with passengers, according to the research. The youngest drivers had the highest odds of cell phone use, texting and talking on the phone.
The study, published by Preventive Medicine Reports, assessed the prevalence of driver cell phone use at intersections on medical and academic campuses affiliated with the University of Texas.
The project’s data collectors were stationed at such campus intersections in Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso and Brownville. These researchers recorded data on cell phone use based on what they observed from the first unobstructed vehicle stopped during each red-light interval for a randomly selected lane. Excluded from the study were emergency, delivery and construction vehicles, along with motorcycles and public buses.
A committee within the university’s Health Science Center approved the study protocol. Cell phone use was recorded if a driver was observed texting, talking with a handheld phone, or talking into a hands-free device.
The study determined the overall prevalence of cell phone use was 18.7 percent. Overall cell phone use, as well as cell phone conversations in particular, tended to decline over the course of the study. On the other hand, texting seemed to increase from 2011 to 2013.
For a more detailed summary of the study, click here.