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Identifying the determinants of concealed and obvious texting while driving: are they distinct behaviours?

Gauld, C, Lewis, I, White, K M (Peer reviewed)

Driver Risk & Behaviour

ACRS conference 2013

Concealed texting (CT) while driving involves a conscious effort to hide one’s texting while obvious texting (OT) does not involve such efforts to conceal the behaviour. Young drivers are the most frequent users of mobile phones while driving which is associated with heightened crash risk. This study investigated the extent to which CT and OT may be discrete behaviours to ascertain whether countermeasures would need to utilise distinct approaches. An extended Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) including moral norm, mobile phone involvement, and anticipated regret guided the research. Participants (n = 171) were aged 17 to 25 years, owned a mobile phone, had a current driver’s licence, and resided in Queensland. A repeated measures MANOVA found significant differences between CT and OT on all standard and extended TPB constructs. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed the standard TPB constructs accounted for 68.7% and 54.6% of the variance in intentions to engage in CT and OT, respectively. The extended predictors contributed additional variance in intentions over and above the standard TPB constructs. Further, in the final regression model, differences emerged in the significant predictors of each type of texting. These findings provide initial evidence that CT and OT are distinct behaviours. This distinction is important to the extent that it may influence the nature of advertising countermeasures aimed at reducing/preventing young drivers’ engagement in these risky behaviours.