Motivations for Watching Videos on Mobile Phones While Driving in Parking lots and While Waiting at Intersections in the United States

TitleMotivations for Watching Videos on Mobile Phones While Driving in Parking lots and While Waiting at Intersections in the United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsGao J, Jackson J, Jinhua Zhao
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Abstract

This is a two-part mixed methods study that investigated motivations for watching videos on mobile phones while driving. We make three theoretical contributions in this paper. First, we specifically examine watching videos on mobile phones while driving, whereas previous studies examine calling, texting, monitoring messages, and using apps. Second, we specifically focus on waiting at intersections and driving in parking lots; parking lots have not been studied in previous studies. Third, we incorporate perception about the law into the Theory of Planned Behavior model as a predictor of intention.

The quantitative survey yielded responses measuring each variable in our extended Theory of Planned Behavior model. We found that although people don’t watch videos on their phones while driving as much as they text or converse, the rates of watching are disturbingly high (41% watch at intersections). The intention to watch while driving is a significant predictor of behavior, and attitude is a significant predictor of intention in both scenarios. Moral norms were a significant predictor of intention in the parking lot scenario. Nearly half (48%) of drivers don’t know their state laws regarding mobile phone use while driving. Neither the subjective knowledge about state law with respect to watching videos on mobile phones while driving nor the actual state law about using handheld devices while driving were significant predictors of the intention to watch videos while driving. The qualitative survey yielded open-ended responses on drivers’ salient beliefs about watching videos on mobile phones while driving. We propose using a multitude of laws to reduce mobile phone use while driving, and requiring drivers to take a short course on distracted driving