Driver distraction and road crashes

The aim of this project is to examine the role of driver distraction in crashes and to investigate the use and effects of mobile phone use while driving.


Case-control study

The case-control study examined the role of driver distraction in road crashes resulting in hospital attendance. Cases were drivers who attended hospital following a crash and controls were drivers recruited from service stations matched to the crash site and time of day and day of the week as the crash, to simulate similar road and driving conditions.

Driver survey

The driver survey quantified the prevalence and effects of distracting effects while driving and the use and effects of mobile phone use while driving. A cross-sectional survey of licensed drivers aged 18 to 65 years in New South Wales and Western Australia was conducted.


The prevalence study has been published recently in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. The survey results have been published in the journals, Injury Prevention and the Medical Journal of Australia and presented at the International Traffic Medicine Association's World Congress and the Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference in 2006. Young and inexperienced drivers are at an increased risk of crashes resulting from driver distraction.

Related unit: Injury