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Traffic Inj Prev. 2011 Dec;12(6):545-9. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2011.620999.

Texting and accessing the web while driving: traffic citations and crashes among young adult drivers.

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Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, California State University-Sacramento, Sacramento, California 95819-6053, USA.



We examined relations between young adult texting and accessing the web while driving with driving outcomes (viz. crashes and traffic citations). Our premise is that engaging in texting and accessing the web while driving is not only distracting but that these activities represent a pattern of behavior that leads to an increase in unwanted outcomes, such as crashes and citations.


College students (N = 274) on 3 campuses (one in California and 2 in Utah) completed an electronic questionnaire regarding their driving experience and cell phone use.


Our data indicate that 3 out of 4 (74.3%) young adults engage in texting while driving, over half on a weekly basis (51.8%), and some engage in accessing the web while driving (16.8%). Data analysis revealed a relationship between these cell phone behaviors and traffic citations and crashes.


The findings support Jessor and Jessor's (1977) "problem behavior syndrome" by showing that traffic citations are related to texting and accessing the web while driving and that crashes are related to accessing the web while driving. Limitations and recommendations are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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