This study assessed the prevalence of self-reported mobile phone use while driving and its association with road traffic crashes among commercial motor taxi drivers in Kampala Uganda.
Mobile phone use while driving is a growing problem worldwide with public health implications. In Uganda phone use is on the increase and yet there is limited data on the role of mobile phone use while driving in road traffic crashes.
A cross sectional study was conducted among 420 commercial taxi drivers that were randomly selected from 5 taxi parks in Kampala. Questions covered crash history and phone use behaviour (talking or texting) while driving. We estimated the prevalence of self-reported phone use and using logistic regression assessed its association with crashes.
The prevalence of any form of phone use while driving was 60% and this was higher than that reported in other countries. Commercial taxi drivers who were particularly likely to experience a near crash included those who were less than 30 years of age [COR=2.06 (1.26–3.36)]. The study revealed that using a phone while driving was associated with having experienced a near crash in the past 30 days [AOR=1.68 (1.09–2.58)].
Mobile phone use while driving is a big problem and this study reports an association to near crashes and crashes. Addressing phone use while driving should be a priority concern among motorists and policy makers because of the risk of crashes to the driver, passengers and other road users.