Research Papers

Evaluating the Long Term Effects of Saskatchewan’s Legislation Banning the Use of Hand-held Cell Phones while Driving in Reducing Distracted-Driving Related Collisions

Filename 4A-Sahaji-FP.docx
Filesize 67 KB
Version 1
Date added June 30, 2016
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Category 2016 CARSP XXVI Halifax
Tags Research and Evaluation, Session 4A
Author/Auteur Rajib Sahaji, George Eguakun
Stream/Volet Research and Evaluation

Slidedeck Presentation

4A - Boase

Abstract

Background/Context: Distracted driving continued to be a major collision contributing factor in Saskatchewan. The use of cellphone while driving has been identified as one of many dangerous distraction inducing actions. Saskatchewan's legislation banning cellphone use while driving came into effect in January 2010 in response to the growing concern of distracted driving as a major contributing factor in traffic collisions. However, the long-term effect of the legislation on distracted driving collisions has not been investigated.

Aims/Objectives: This study assessed whether the cellphone ban legislation has had any long-term effect on distracted driving related collisions in Saskatchewan.

Methods/Target Group: Distracted driving (DD) related collision data from SGI’s Traffic Accident Information System was extracted for the period 2005-2009 (before legislation) and 2010-2014 (after legislation). The negative binomial technique, along with general estimating equations (GEE), was used in conducting before and after analyses of the data. Distracted driving (DD) related collisions were used as the surrogate response variable for three model categories: total collisions, property damage only collisions, and casualty collisions. The main assumption for using distracted driving as a surrogate measure is that any significant change in cellphone-related collisions would result in a corresponding change in overall distracted driving collisions.

Results/Activities: The results indicate that when age, gender and unemployment rates were accounted for, the legislation resulted in significant reductions in the monthly rates of DD related total collisions (13%; p-vale=0.005) and casualty collisions resulting in injuries and deaths (23%; p-value<0.0001); however, the impact of the legislation was not significant on the less severe property damage only (PDO) collisions. While the magnitude of reductions in total collisions and casualty collisions are even among males and females, younger drivers (aged 15-24 years) experienced significantly greater reductions in DD related collisions than older drivers (24+ years of age).

Discussion/Deliverables: The study outcome indicates that Saskatchewan’s legislation banning the use of hand-held cell phone while driving had significantly greater long-term impact on casualty collisions than on the less severe property damage collisions associated with distracted driving. The legislation, over the years, has been less effective when all distracted driving collisions were considered, regardless of the collision severity. This is expected since we found no significant impact on property damage only collisions, which constitute the bulk of the total collisions.

Conclusions: The legislation banning the cellphone use has been effective in reducing DD related collisions over the longer term. Specifically, the long-term safety impact of the legislation was greater with regard to DD related casualty collisions and towards the younger drivers (aged 16-24). Male and female drivers experienced an equal degree of safety benefits of the legislation. The long-term safety impact of the legislation was greater with regard to DD related casualty collisions and towards the younger drivers (aged 16-24). Male and female drivers experienced an equal degree of safety benefits of the legislation.

Rajib Sahaji, George Eguakun