Impact of Education and Awareness Programs on the Usage and Attitude towards Texting while Driving among Young Drivers

Texting-while-driving has become a new menace on the roads. The problem has become a major cause of highways accidents and injuries especially among young drivers. It well documented in research literature that this problem is more prevalent among younger drivers largely because they are the heaviest users of the information technology including texting. Furthermore, the usage of texting is growing rapidly among millennium generation drivers. As this population grows old, texting might become even more prevalent on the roads. This has potential of further increasing accident hazards due to texting-while-driving in the future. In a very short span of time, texting-while-driving problem became such a large issue that 32 US states and territories have made some laws against it. However, law is only one part of the equation. Driver education is the equally important to solve the issues. It is very important to educate driving public about danger of texting-while-driving. One can draw parallel with seat-belt laws. Each state has seatbelt law on their books for a longtime. At the same time, both state and federal governments made strong efforts in the area of public education about advantages of using seatbelts. Despite aggressive enforcement and creative awareness programs, it took decades to improve seatbelt usage among drivers. Therefore, it is imperative to start strongly education programs about danger of texting-while-driving now. The available literature suggests younger driver have different perceptions of risk that impacts their behavior related to cell phone use while driving. As mentioned, there are laws being written to combat the problem. It has also been reported that the decrease in cell phone use after enactment of law does not hold over the time and that use of cellular phones actually increases following the initial decrease. Moreover, the enforcement of the laws related to texting-while-driving is very difficult and challenging. This challenge is evident from reported increases in the use of cell phone and related electronic device activities while driving. Furthermore, law based solutions alone can't change driving behavior. These solutions have to be complimented with education and awareness programs. Several studies have been completed about reasons on why young drivers are attracted to texting-while-driving. However, there is a lack of studies in the area of impact of education and awareness programs about danger of texting-while-driving. This research proposes to study the effectiveness of a few education and awareness programs on a small targeted population of college students. A three step methodology will be utilized in this proposed work. In the first step, student behavior attributes related to texting-while-driving will be determined. The next step will involve selection and design of specific awareness programs based on the data from the first step. The last step will involve conducting a random pretest-posttest experiment on a sample from the target population. The results of these experiments will measure the effectiveness of the selected educational programs about danger of texting-while-driving. The major deliverables from the proposed research will include the following: * A set of implicit and explicit attitudes of young drivers towards texting-while-driving in the targeted population. * A set of awareness and education programs based on the delineated attitudes in the first deliverable. * Effectiveness of awareness and education programs on texting-while-driving behavior on the targeted population.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    Eastern Seaboard Intermodal Transportation Applications Center

    Hampton University
    Hampton, VA  United States  23668
  • Principal Investigators:

    Dsouza, Kelwyn

    Maheshwari, Sharad

  • Start Date: 20110501
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20120530
  • Source Data: RiP Project 28334

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01467988
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Eastern Seaboard Intermodal Transportation Applications Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0029
  • Files: UTC, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:43PM