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Mobile Phone Use While Driving: Research Report

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Introduction

1/3 young drivers have reported texting while driving on the road (Feldman, Greeson, Renna & Robbins-Monteith, 2011). To establish more effective long-term intervention programmes behavioural, environmental and psychological factors need to be addressed to mobile phone use while driving (Feldman et al. , 2011). Studies examining behavioural bias and driving behaviours have consistently examined that people believe they are less likely to be involved in car accidents and risk behaviour than the average person if they have optimistic personalities (Dalziel & Job, 1997).

Due to being the most inexperienced, drivers who are young are most likely to engage in dangerous behaviour while driving which is why they should be the target for intervention to prevent risk behaviour on the road (Cazzulino, Burke, Muller, Arbogast & Upperman, 2013). Recently there has been a significant increase with mobile phone use while driving for young drivers because of car trouble, looking for directions, socialising and boredom (Cazzulino et al. , 2013). As the younger population can adapt and use new technologies more rapidly than the older, studies should aim at addressing young drivers and the frequency of mobile phone use while driving (Goldenbeld, Twisk & Houwing, 2008). Cazzulino et al. (2013) states that prevention strategies that focus solely on the risk aspect are ineffective and other factors should be examined as individuals are aware of the risk however continue to use a mobile phone while driving. (Chaurand, Bossart & Delhomme, 2015) demonstrates that the way in which a message is framed (gain vs loss) significantly impacts how efficiently the message will be portrayed and if the desired behaviour will be adopted.

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According to Hoekstra & Wegman (2011) Campaigns that are focused on gain induced messages such as seat belt use have been significantly effective in promoting safe behaviour while driving but only to a certain point considering how as behaviours become more pervasive, it becomes more difficult for campaigns to have any further effect on them. In present study’s conclusions are inconsistent with how effective gain or loss framed messages are in terms of risk behaviour while driving (Charurand et al. , 2015) This demonstrates the importance of our study and examining loss framed and gain framed safety messages with changing young people’s intentions towards mobile phone use while driving.

According to Millar & Millar (2000) message framing are only effective when combined with issue involvement which is an important factor to be studied as there are inconsistent effects with message framing when driving and using mobile phones. Miller & Miller’s study (2000) Justifies the importance of studying the Greater effect of framing when message context induced high issue involvement. The current study examines whether the way in which a message is framed (loss or gain) change driver’s behaviours on the road as well as focusing on high or low issue involvement messages to increase the effectiveness of safety messages by generating high issue involvement in individuals on the road.

Our study Consists of 3 hypotheses, the first one we hypothesised was that gain-framed, compared to loss-framed, safety messages about mobile phone use while driving will be more effective in changing people’s intentions towards this behaviour. Secondly, that high issue involvement inducing, compared to low issue involvement inducing, safety messages will be more effective in changing people’s intentions about unsafe driving behaviour.

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