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School of Public Health




Objectives Cellphone use behaviours can vary demographically in the USA. This study examined whether legislation restricting cellphone use while driving was associated with lower self-reported hand-held cellphone conversations or texting behaviours among adult drivers of different ages (19–24, 25–39, 40–59,≥60 years), sex, race/ethnicity (white non-Hispanic, black non-Hispanic, Hispanic, Other) or rurality (urban, rural). Design Cross-sectional study. Setting USA. Participants Individuals ≥19 years of age who indicated they were a current driver and participated in the 2011– 2014 Traffic Safety Culture Index Surveys (n=9706). Primary outcome The exposure was the presence of a hand-held calling or texting ban applicable to all drivers (ie, universal) at time of survey. Modified Poisson regression with robust SE was used to estimate the risk of engaging in these self-reported behaviours. Results In fully adjusted models, universal texting bans were not associated with lower texting behaviours (adjusted risk ratio [aRR]=0.92; 95% CI 0.84, 1.01). In stratified, fully adjusted models, men and those of other racial/ethnic origin were 13% and 33% less likely, respectively (aRR=0.87; 95%CI 0.77, 0.98; aRR=0.67; 95%CI 0.46, 0.97), to engage in texting behaviours if a universal texting ban was effective in their state. Conversely, universal hand-held calling bans were associated with lower self-reported hand-held cellphone conversations across every sub-group. In fully adjusted models, the presence of a hand-held calling ban was associated with 40% lower (aRR=0.60, 95%CI 0.54, 0.67) self-reported hand-held cellphone conversations while driving. Conclusions Universal hand-held calling bans were associated with lower self-reported cellphone conversations for adult drivers. More interventional work targeting adult drivers may be needed to reduce texting while driving.

Source Citation

Rudisill, T. M., Zhu, M., & Chu, H. (2019). Association between cellphone use while driving legislation and self-reported behaviour among adult drivers in USA: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 9(2), e023456.


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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