University of Hertfordshire

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Can't text, I'm driving: Factors influencing intentions to text while driving in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Mark J.M. Sullman
  • Aneta M. Przepiorka
  • Agata P. Blachnio
  • Tetiana Hill
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Original languageEnglish
Article number106027
Number of pages9
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Early online date25 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


There is clear research evidence that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous. However, although drivers generally know this is a risky behaviour, many continue to use a handheld mobile phone while driving. The present research used the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to explore the psychological reasons underpinning intentions to use a mobile phone while driving in general, as well as to send and read text messages while driving
across four different scenarios. Convenience sampling was used to obtain data from 314 participants who held a valid licence to drive in the UK, had driven at least once in the last six months and owned a mobile phone. General intentions to use a mobile phone while driving were predicted by positive Attitudes towards the behaviour and higher Perceived Behavioural Control. Moreover, when predicting intentions to send and read text messages, it was positive Attitudes that was the most consistent and significant predictor. Surprisingly, neither
Perceived Behavioural Control nor Subjective Norms were significant predictors of intentions to send or read text messages. Furthermore, perceptions of risk (crashing and being apprehended by the police) were significant predictors of intentions to send and read texts over and above that provided by the TPB variables. The present research highlights the need for interventions to target attitudinal change and to increase risk perceptions in order to reduce the prevalence of these risky behaviours.


© 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence (

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