The objective of this study was to examine characteristics associated with cell phone use while driving among parents and caregivers of children ages 4-10 years. Participants (N=760) completed an online survey and were required to be the parent or caregiver of a child aged 4-10 years. They had to have driven with the child in the vehicle six or more times within the previous three months. The survey collected data on the following measures: cell phone use while driving (i.e., reading a text, sending a text, hands-free cell phone calls, hand-held cell phone calls, and use of social media), typical child restraint system used, seat belt use while driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, and demographic data.
The majority of participants were a mother, stepmother, or foster mother (58.4%), followed by a father, stepfather, or foster father (37.8%). Results showed that few participants reported using their cell phone on every trip taken within the past three months. However, during trips in which their oldest child aged 4-10 years was in the vehicle the majority of participants indicated they had talked on a hands-free phone (52.2%). Additionally, within the last three months participants reported they had talked on a handheld phone (47%), read or sent text messages (33.7% and 26.7%), and used social media (13.7%) while driving with their child in the vehicle. Not wearing a seat belt while driving (13.2%), regardless of whether the child was in the vehicle or not, was associated with increased likelihood on most cell phone distracted driving behaviors (excluding talking on a hands-free phone) within the past 3 months.
McDonald, C. C., Kennedy, E., Fleisher, L., & Zonfrillo, M. R. (2018). Factors Associated with Cell Phone Use While Driving: A Survey of Parents and Caregivers of Children Ages 4-10 Years. The Journal of Pediatrics.