Jump to Content

Psychosocial factors influencing mobile phone use while driving

Summary

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 driver 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 and 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 drivers decisions to engage in this behaviour. The findings from this study can inform campaigns designed to reduce this unsafe driving practice.

Enquiries relating to the Road Safety Research Grant Report 2007-06 should be directed to:

Ms Sandra Hutchinson
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Phone:  07 3138 2130

After hours contact:

Ms Janne Rayner
Media Manager
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Phone:  0407 585 901

Download Complete Document: Grant_Report200706 [PDFPDF: 2282 KB]

Type: Research and Analysis Report
Sub Type: Grant
Author(s): Walsh, Shari P., White, Katherine M., Watson, Barry., Hyde, Melissa K.
Topics: Risk
Publication Date: 21/12/07

Print

Last Updated: 6 May, 2013