The link between texting and motor vehicle collision frequency in the orthopaedic trauma population
Keywords:texting, driving, trauma, orthopaedic injury, inattention, motor vehicle collision
AbstractBACKGROUND: This study will evaluate whether or not texting frequency while driving and/or texting frequency in general are associated with an increased risk of incurring a motor vehicle collision (MVC) resulting in orthopaedic trauma injuries. METHODS: All patients who presented to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Orthopaedic Trauma Clinic were administered a questionnaire to determine background information, mean phone use, texting frequency, texting frequency while driving, and whether or not the injury was the result of an MVC in which the patient was driving. RESULTS: 237 questionnaires were collected. 60 were excluded due to incomplete date, leaving 57 questionnaires in the MVC group and 120 from patients with non-MVC injuries. Patients who sent more than 30 texts per week (“heavy texters”) were 2.22 times more likely to be involved in an MVC than those who texted less frequently. 84% of respondents claimed to never text while driving. Dividing the sample into subsets on the basis of age (25 years of age or below considered “young adult,” and above 25 years of age considered “adult”),young, heavy texters were 6.76 times more likely to be involved in an MVC than adult non-heavy texters (p = 0.000). Similarly, young adult, non-heavy texters were 6.65 (p = 0.005) times more likely to be involved in an MVC, and adult, heavy texters were 1.72 (p = 0.186) times more likely to be involved in an MVC. CONCLUSIONS: Patients injured in an MVC sent more text messages per week than non-MVC patients. Additionally, controlling for age demonstrated that young age and heavy general texting frequency combined had the highest increase in MVC risk, with the former being the variable of greatest effect. © 2013 KUMS, All rights reserved
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