Who’s calling? Social networks and mobile phone use among motorcyclists Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Mobile phone use while riding a motorcycle poses a key safety risk, particularly among younger people who have been found to be more susceptible to distracted driving. While previous research has examined the influence of social networks on mobile phone use while driving a car, no research has explored this association in the context of motorcycle use. Using a survey of university students in Vietnam, this research explores the association between social networks and mobile phone use among motorcyclists and the links this has to reported crashes/falls. Results show that the majority of students are most likely to use a mobile phone to communicate with a friend while riding, either through talking (56.5%) or text messaging (62.0%). However, respondents who frequently talk to a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse while riding were more likely to experience a crash/fall than those who frequently talk with others while riding (e.g. parent, brother/sister). In addition, those who frequently text message a friend while riding were more likely to experience a crash/fall than those who frequently text message others while riding. The results highlight a clear association between social networks and mobile phone use while riding a motorcycle. Developing a culture of societal norms, where mobile phone use while riding a motorcycle is considered socially unacceptable, will help to reduce the prevalence and ultimate crash risk associated with mobile phone use while riding.

publication date

  • 2017