Exploring the Importance of Personality Traits, Sanctions, and Fear Appeals on Teen Driver Cell Phone Usage and Texting While Driving (TWD) Law Compliance

This study will investigate the role of the personality, fear appeals, and sanctions as factors which may be associated with the motivation to adopt safety behaviors and to comply with regulations regarding texting while driving (TWD). The objective is to determine how organizations can use knowledge about a teenage driver's disposition to design more effective methods to deter texting while driving (TWD) behaviors. According to the General Deterrence Theory (GDT,) "Individuals make a rational assessment of the relative benefits and costs of policy violations by evaluating the potential sanctions for violating policies (Bulgurcu et al., 2010; Siponen & Vance, 2010)." There are three key variables associated with this theory: sanction certainty, sanction severity, and sanction celerity. Of the three variables, the project will test sanction certainty and sanction severity. Furthermore, the GDT literature states that, "research has shown consistently that sanction fear predicts various criminal and deviant behaviors (Nagin and Pogarsky 2001, Tittle 1980)." Therefore, GDT predicts that "the greater the certainty and severity of sanctions for an illicit act, the more individuals are deterred from that act (Gibbs 1975)." Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), on the other hand, suggests that "individuals assess a threat and their ability to cope with that threat (Anderson & Agarwal, 2010; Johnston & Warkentin, 2010)." Threat Appraisal is composed of two factors - Threat Susceptibility and Threat Severity - while Coping Appraisal is composed of three factors - Response Efficacy, Self-Efficacy, and Response Cost. The "Big Five" Personality Traits included in the model are openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro

    Greensboro, NC  United States  27411
  • Start Date: 20140911
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20150915
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40233

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572495
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Southeastern Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC34
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 8 2015 1:01AM