This online survey examined texting while driving among Canadian youth and young adult drivers. The objective was to measure the prevalence of texting while driving behaviour among a sample of 2000 youth and young adult drivers aged 16 to 24 years. Additionally, this study aimed to identify the motives of this population of drivers for texting while driving. Survey results demonstrated that although participants indicated that they had low intentions to engage in texting while driving, almost half of them (44%) reported they had texted while driving in the past. More than half of the participants (55%) indicated they were more likely to read a text message but not send one while driving, as they perceived this behaviour to be safer. The most commonly reported themes and/or reasons for TWD were related to making plans, perceived importance of messages, to get directions, to send or receive a message from friends/family or significant other, or to report to others or provide status updates (e.g., to let someone know they will be late).
Authors suggested developing a social marketing campaign targeting young drivers aged 16 to 24 years in order to challenge perceptions that texting while driving is the norm, as well as to debunk myths that reading a text is safer than sending one.
Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario), Berenbaum E, Keller-Olaman S, Manson H. Texting while driving behaviour among Ontario youth and young adults. Toronto, ON: Queen’s Printer for Ontario; 2015.