Discouraging mobile phone use while driving

Industry Project with Motor Accident Commission

People who use their phone while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a collision.

This aim of this project was to understand who uses their phone and why, and what sorts of messages are most influential in reducing texting and calling while driving.

An online survey was completed by 413 respondents. The survey included a metric conjoint task which asked respondents to evaluate fines that varied in their amount, the number of demerit points, and likelihood of being caught. The survey also included questions about past phone use behaviours, attitudes, values, and demographics.

Two in five drivers use their phone at least occasionally while driving. Well educated drivers under 30 years are most likely to use their phone while driving, and are most likely to feel pressured to use their phone.

Phone users admit to engaging in a range of "defensive" tactics, such as increasing the space between the car in front, or stopping their vehicle mitigate the risks of phone use.

Drivers who thought their loved ones would disapprove of their behaviour were two times more likely to use their phone, and to try and avoid detection by holding their phone below the wheel.

Results showed that advertising campaigns which target motorists guilt and reinforce how dangerous phone use is will be most effective in reducing phone use while driving.

Read about our detailed findings here.

Continue reading

  • Akshay Vij

    Akshay Vij

    Dr Vij is one of our experts in transportation, learn more about his work here.

    Staff profile

  • Choice Modelling

    Choice Modelling

    See more about the research techniques we use to deliver key insights for partners.

    Learn more

  • Our People

    Our People

    See more about our team of researchers.

    Our academics

  • Ask a question

    Ask a question

    Get in touch with the Institute for Choice.

    Contact us