Keywords: distracted driving, impulsiveness, texting while driving, psychological tendancies, driving distractions, safe driving, dangerous driving, driver attitudes, personality traits, public policy, need to be connected
An exploratory study of psychological tendencies related to texting while driving
Texting while driving is increasingly recognised as a dangerous activity. Given that texting while driving is a growing phenomenon we wish to identify attitudes and personality traits that may affect a propensity to voluntarily undertake such a dangerous activity. We focused on personality traits of 'impulsiveness' and a 'need to be connected' as possible explanations of texting while driving behaviour. Analysis indicates 'texting impulsiveness' is positively associated with people who text frequently and those who text while driving, with a significant gender difference. We found a very large majority of respondents, while recognising the dangerousness of texting while driving, are still willing to do it at least sometimes. While male respondents widely agree that texting while driving is dangerous they also believe that they are better at texting while driving than other drivers. Important public policy implications are suggested by this research.