A group of researchers on behalf of Taking a STADD and a trauma center set out to investigate the prevalence rates of distracted driving behaviors (DDBs) among the adult population.
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This article is a published research study that was carried out at the behest of Taking a STADD Organization in collaboration with a university-affiliated trauma center. The authors note that only two behaviors are usually associated with distracted driving; texting and use of cell phones. The article documents the process of the research study in which a group of adults of varying demographics was presented with a set of seven questions. According to the authors, the aim of the research was to document other forms of DDB other than texting and use of cell phones. The results of the study revealed that the instances of DDB vary according to different demographics. The study’s statistical analysis “was conducted using Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance and the Chi-square testing” (Hoff et al., 2013). The article notes that the results of the study highlighted the dangers of DDB other than texting and using cell phones. The authors recommend public education that addresses all forms of DDB, mostly targeting adults of eighteen to thirty-four years.
The article begins by noting that distracted driving is mostly restricted to texting and cell phone use. Nonetheless, current technology levels have increased aspects of distractions among road users. The authors of the article realize that the “self-reported perceptions of the drivers about DDB may offer interesting insight” when designing outreach programs (Hoff et al., 2013). The method used in this study involved sending the questionnaires electronically, first to employees of a health-care network, and then to various driving license holders. Online means such as social-networking websites were used to pass the questionnaires to the identified subjects.
Furthermore, the article notes that six different age groups were used in the study. Demographics were categorized in terms of “age groups, level of education, and gender, while four primary questions were used in the study’s questionnaire” (Hoff et al., 2013). These primary questions included whether a sampled driver finds himself/herself distracted while driving, which DDB a sampled driver engages in, whether a sampled driver considers DDB dangerous, and whether a sampled driver has ever been involved in a DDB-related accident.
The study sampled 1857 individuals, but only 1838 of these provided complete and useable data. Out of the interviewed sample, seventy-two percent confessed to being involved in one form of DDB or another. Also, the authors note that the rate of involvement in DDB among respondents increased with age. Furthermore, DDB was less “likely among women and highly educated individuals” (Hoff et al., 2013). According to the article, the most prevalent form of DDB was the use of cell phones at seventy-nine percent, followed by drinking and eating at sixty-seven percent. Reaching for things outside the driver’s compartment accounted for fifty percent of DDBs.
The study’s discussion notes that the effects of DDB have previously been compared to the impact of drunk driving. The debate also references several studies concerning distracted driving. According to the article, earlier research on the use of mobile phones while driving revealed that this behavior leads to ‘inattention blindness.’ Also, the authors claim that conversing on the phone has proven to be different from having a conversation with a passenger. The authors of this article compare their study to a study that was conducted by the American Automobile Association investigating the everyday distractions that are associated with driving. The article concludes by noting that a similar study to examine DDBs among teenage drivers is underway. Also, the report reiterates the need to recognize other forms of DDB other than texting and cell phone use.
An article is an informative tool on the extent of DDBs among adult drivers. The authors work hard to ensure that their audience realizes that texting and cell phone use are not the only forms of DDB. However, this stance makes the authors’ work look more like activism than research. The research that is outlined in this article was commissioned by an activist organization known as Take a STAND. Therefore, the authors of this study look like they are pushing their commissioner’s agenda instead of providing non-partisan research. For instance, the article does not address the study’s weaknesses. The fact that a simple and straightforward study took seven researchers to conduct implies that this study was meant to be a formality.
Moreover, likely, the seven researchers were only meant to prove a point on behalf of Taking a STADD Organization.
Nevertheless, the study’s research questions are well laid out and adequately modeled. The results of the study are also quite convincing and well analyzed. However, the article fails to secure an integral part of formal research by excluding the research-limitations portion. The material would be suitable for road safety campaigners and other road users. Overall, the item is a valuable input to the campaign against DDBs.
Hoff, J., Grell, J., Lohrman, N., Stehly, C., Stoltzfus, J., Wainwright, G., & Hoff, W. S. (2013). Distracted driving and implications for injury prevention in adults. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 20(1), 31-34.