Exploring the theoretical underpinnings of driving whilst influenced by illicit substances

Watling, Christopher N. & Freeman, James E. (2011) Exploring the theoretical underpinnings of driving whilst influenced by illicit substances. Transportation Research Part F : Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 14(6), pp. 567-578.

View at publisher


An increasing number of studies are highlighting the alarming proportion of motorists that drive after having consumed illicit drugs. However presently, little attention has focused on the factors that may facilitate drug driving from a criminogenic paradigm. This study evaluated the contribution of deterrence, defiance, and deviance theories on intentions to drug drive to determine factors that might facilitate or reduce this behaviour. A total of 922 individuals completed a questionnaire that assessed frequency of drug use and a variety of perceptions on deterrence, defiance, and deviance constructs. The analysis showed that the defiance constructs (i.e., experiencing feelings of shame and believing in the legitimacy of sanctioning authority) and the deviance constructs (i.e., moral attachment to the norm and having a criminal conviction) were predictive of drug driving intentions. The facets of deterrence theory were not found to be significant predictors. Ultimately, this study illustrates that a range of behavioural and perceptual factors have the capacity to influence decisions to drug drive. As a result, there appears the need to extend the focus of research endeavours beyond legal sanctions to examine other factors that may be utilised to both understand the aetiology of drug driving as well as increase the possibility of compliance with the corresponding legislation.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
3 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

202 since deposited on 21 Jul 2011
13 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 43465
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Deterrence, Defiance, Deviance, Drug driving, Substances abuse
DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2011.06.002
ISSN: 1369-8478
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > OTHER PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (179900) > Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified (179999)
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 2011 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Transportation Research Part F : Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Transportation Research Part F : Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, [VOL 14, ISSUE 6, (2011)] DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2011.06.002
Deposited On: 21 Jul 2011 22:21
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2013 03:36

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page