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Psychosocial factors influencing mobile phone use while driving

Walsh, Shari P., White, Katherine M., Watson, Barry C., & Hyde, Melissa K. (2007) Psychosocial factors influencing mobile phone use while driving. Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Canberra, ACT.

Abstract

This study aims to improve our understanding of why drivers use their mobile phones while driving and to inform campaigns designed to address this behaviour. The Theory of Planned Behaviour was used to investigate factors relating to mobile phone use while driving. Study 1 (N = 47) elicited behavioural, normative, and control beliefs towards mobile phone use while driving and assessed situational factors affecting this behaviour. Study 2 (N = 801) examined how attitudes, normative pressures, and control factors influenced intention to use a mobile phone while driving in general, and in four scenarios manipulating driving condition (moving versus stationary) and drivers motivation (in a hurry versus not in a hurry). In addition, the research explored the effects of age, gender, driving purpose, perceived risk of apprehension, perceived risk of crashing, and addictive tendencies towards mobile phone use.
Differences in the underlying beliefs held by participants with strong and weak intentions to use a mobile phone while driving were also assessed. Participants’ attitudes towards mobile phone use while driving were the only consistent predictors of the intention to engage in this behaviour in the future. Drivers with strong intentions to use a mobile phone while driving perceived that this behaviour had more advantages, greater approval from others and were less affected by factors deterring them from using a mobile phone while driving, than drivers with weak intentions. The perceived risk of apprehension, or crashing did not have much impact on participants’ intention to engage in this behaviour. People with addictive tendencies towards mobile phone use were more likely to use their mobile phone while driving. Drivers were more likely to use their phone when waiting at traffic lights than when driving at 100 km/h. Results of the study improve our understanding of why drivers use their mobile phones while driving by highlighting factors which influence driver’s decisions to engage in this behaviour. The findings from this study can inform campaigns designed to reduce this unsafe driving practice.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 11305
Item Type: Report
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Mobile phone, driving, psychology, Theory of Planned Behaviour, risk perception, addiction
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Statement: To encourage the dissemination of this publication, it may be copied, downloaded, displayed, printed, reproduced, and distributed in unaltered form (retaining this notice). Subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, no other use of the material in this publication may be made without the authorisation of the Queensland University of Technology.
Deposited On: 07 Jan 2008
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 22:51

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