Effect of mobile phone use and aggression on speed selection by young drivers: a driving simulator study
Aggressive driving has been associated with engagement in other risky driving behaviours,
such as speeding; while drivers using their mobile phones have an increased crash risk,
despite the tendency to reduce their speed. Research has amassed separately for mobile phone
use and aggressive driving among younger drivers, however little is known about the extent
to which these behaviours may function independently and in combination to influence speed
selection behaviour. The main aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of driver aggression (measured by the Driving Anger Expression Inventory) and mobile phone use on speed selection by young drivers. The CARRS-Q advanced driving simulator was used to test the speed selection of drivers aged 18 to 26 years (N = 32) in a suburban (60kph zone) driving context. A 2 (level of driving anger expression: low, high) X 3 (mobile phone use condition: baseline, hands-free, hand-held) mixed factorial ANOVA was conducted with speed selection as the dependent variable. Results revealed a significant main effect for mobile phone use condition such that speed selection was lowest for the hand-held condition and highest for the baseline condition. Speed selection, however, was not significantly different across the levels of driving anger expression; nor was there a significant interaction effect between the mobile phone use and driving anger expression. As young drivers are over-represented in road crash statistics, future research should further investigate the combined impact of driver aggression and mobile phone use on speed selection.