This exploratory study involved focus group and interview discussion to explore young drivers’ underlying beliefs related to their activities to initiate, monitor/read and respond to an array of social interactive technologies available on smartphones. The 26 participants that took part in the study ranged in age from 17 to 25 years. Based on the theory of planned behaviour, researchers examined behavioural, normative and control beliefs that influenced the use of these technologies while driving.
Study results revealed differences between initiating, monitoring/reading, and responding in relation to each of the behavioral, normative, and control belief categories. The behavioural beliefs category showed the strongest distinction. Similar results for behaviours to initiate or respond were associated with normative beliefs although there were differences for monitoring/reading. Finally, in terms of control beliefs, there were differences related to the facilitators of these behaviours, but control beliefs revealed consistent barriers across the three behaviours.
The outcomes of this study enhance the extant literature and support new research that suggests that initiating, monitoring/reading, and responding may be distinct behaviors that are associated with different underlying motivations. Naturalistic driving research suggests that there are varying levels of risk associated with these different behaviours, thereby supporting the importance of understanding the different motivations to help inform content used in public education messages. Future research should build on this exploratory study and focus on developing public education messages aimed at preventing young drivers from engaging in these risky behaviours.
Gauld, C. S., Lewis, I. M., White, K. M., & Watson, B. (2016). Key beliefs influencing young drivers’ engagement with social interactive technology on their smartphones: A qualitative study. Traffic injury prevention, 17(2), 128-133.