Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 613

Full Length Research Paper

Mobile phone use by drivers in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

Abiodun Olukoga*, George Legall and Abayomi Odekunle
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, West Indies.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 February 2011
  •  Published: 31 March 2011

Abstract

A cross-sectional study to determine the pattern of mobile phone use by drivers in Trinidad and Tobago. Data were obtained using a self-administered questionnaire that was completed by 1150 drivers. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics, Chi square test and multinomial logistic regression analysis. Overall, 91% of the drivers use a mobile phone while driving. Amongst these drivers, 86% use hand-held and 14% use hands-free mobile phones. The phone calls by the drivers were reported as routine (70%) and emergency (30%). The calls were of general nature (58%), family matters (23%) and work-related (19%). The drivers believe that using a mobile phone while driving is extremely dangerous (50%) and moderately dangerous (31%). But, 25% of the drivers make no change in their driving behaviour when using a mobile phone while driving, 53% reduce their speed, 10% drive on the road shoulder and only a mere 2% stop the vehicle. There is a high level of mobile phone use by drivers in Trinidad and Tobago with the attendant challenges for road safety. There is a need for public education in Trinidad and Tobago on the hazards of mobile phone use while driving, and a concurrent need for the enactment and enforcement of legislation to curb this practice.

 

Key words: Hand-held, hands-free, mobile phone use, drivers, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies.