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.
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