What's driving illegal mobile phone use? Psychosocial influences on drivers' intentions to use hand-held mobile phones

Louise Waddell, Karl Wiener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Australian drivers' use of hand-held mobile phones is increasing in prevalence, despite the illegal nature of this behaviour. Research investigating the psychosocial influences on drivers' intentions to use hand-held mobile phones is limited. The present research utilised the theory of planned behaviour, extended with descriptive norm, to investigate the psychosocial influences on drivers' intentions to use a hand-held mobile phone. The behaviours associated with mobile phone use were categorised into initiating and responding behaviour. Answering calls and reading text messages were categorised as responding behaviour, on the basis that these two behaviours have been associated with social pressure to respond. Making calls and sending text messages were categorised as initiating behaviour. A sample of 181 drivers from the general population, aged 18-66 years, completed an online survey. The survey assessed attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, descriptive norm, past behaviour and intention, in relation to initiating and responding behaviour. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control and descriptive norm were all significant predictors of drivers' intentions to engage in both initiating and responding behaviour. However, drivers reported significantly greater intentions to engage in responding behaviour and reported engaging in responding behaviour more frequently than initiating behaviour, indicating that social pressure to respond may play an important role in drivers' illegal use of hand-held mobile phones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Volume22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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