Adolescent and adult drivers’ mobile phone use while driving with different interlocutors

Jessica H. Mirman, Dennis R. Durbin, Yi-ching Lee, Sara J. Seifert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
We examined the frequency of adolescents’ and their parents’ mobile phone use while driving (MPUWD) in the context of their peer and parent-child interlocutors (i.e., communication partners), considering individual differences in perceived risk and symptoms of technology addiction.

Methods
Ninety-four participants (47 parent-adolescent dyads) completed a survey battery measuring their symptoms of technology addiction, perceived risk of MPUWD, and MPUWD with family members and with their peers as assessed via the proportion of trips when drivers used a mobile phone to communicate.

Results
For both adolescents and their parents across both types of interlocutors (parent-child, peer), stronger risk perceptions were associated with less MPUWD, and stronger symptoms of technology addiction were associated with more MPUWD. A three-way interaction among technology addiction, interlocutor (parent-child, peer), and driver (parent, adolescent) was observed. For adolescents, the association between technology addiction and MPUWD was significantly stronger for MPUWD with their peers than it was for their MPUWD with their parents; this association was not observed for parents. Parents engaged in MPUWD with their children as frequently as adolescents engaged in MPUWD with their peers.

Conclusions
Symptoms of technology addiction play a stronger role for adolescents’ MPUWD with their peers than it does for adolescents’ MPUWD with their parents. These and other driver-by-interlocutor interactions should be considered in future research on distracted driving and in prevention efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume104
Early online date28 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • distracted driving
  • mobile phones
  • teen drivers
  • judgment and decision-making
  • technology addiction
  • interlocutors

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