Adolescent and adult drivers’ mobile phone use while driving with different interlocutors

Academic Article


  • Purpose We examined the frequency of adolescents’ and their parents’ mobile phone use while driving (MPUWD) in the context of their peer and parent-child interlocutors (i.e., communication partners), considering individual differences in perceived risk and symptoms of technology addiction. Methods Ninety-four participants (47 parent-adolescent dyads) completed a survey battery measuring their symptoms of technology addiction, perceived risk of MPUWD, and MPUWD with family members and with their peers as assessed via the proportion of trips when drivers used a mobile phone to communicate. Results For both adolescents and their parents across both types of interlocutors (parent-child, peer), stronger risk perceptions were associated with less MPUWD, and stronger symptoms of technology addiction were associated with more MPUWD. A three-way interaction among technology addiction, interlocutor (parent-child, peer), and driver (parent, adolescent) was observed. For adolescents, the association between technology addiction and MPUWD was significantly stronger for MPUWD with their peers than it was for their MPUWD with their parents; this association was not observed for parents. Parents engaged in MPUWD with their children as frequently as adolescents engaged in MPUWD with their peers. Conclusions Symptoms of technology addiction play a stronger role for adolescents’ MPUWD with their peers than it does for adolescents’ MPUWD with their parents. These and other driver-by-interlocutor interactions should be considered in future research on distracted driving and in prevention efforts.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mirman JH; Durbin DR; Lee YC; Seifert SJ
  • Start Page

  • 18
  • End Page

  • 23
  • Volume

  • 104