Distraction-related road traffic collisions
Objectives: We aimed to prospectively study distraction-related road traffic collision injuries, their contributory factors, severity, and outcome.
Methods: Data were prospectively collected on all hospitalized road traffic collision trauma patients in Al-Ain City who were drivers at the collision time over one and half years. Driver’s inattentive behaviors preceding the collision were collected by interviewing the admitted drivers.
Results: There were 444 drivers, 330 of them were fully oriented patients, out of them only 44 (13%) were distracted. Nineteen (5.8%) drivers were distracted by using mobile phones, 12 (3.6%) were pre-occupied with deep thinking, six (1.8%) were talking with other passengers, four (1.2%) were picking things in the vehicle, and three (0.9%) were using entertainment systems. The maximum distraction occurred during the time of 6 am - 12 noon when the traffic was crowded. There were no significant differences between distracted and non-distracted drivers in demographical and physiological factors, injured regions, and outcomes.
Conclusion: Distraction of alert drivers causes 13% of road traffic collisions in Al-Ain city. About 40 percent of the distracted drivers involved in road traffic collisions (RTC) were using mobile phones. Our study supports the ban of use of cell phones while driving.
Keywords: Distraction, prevention, road traffic collision, mobile phone