The overarching goal of the present study was to determine whether a behavioral economic framework of demand analysis is applicable to texting while driving. To this end, we developed a novel hypothetical task in which participants receive a text message while driving, and they rated the likelihood of replying to a text message immediately versus waiting to reply until arriving at a destination when the fine for texting while driving ranged from $1 to $300. The scenario presented two delays to a destination (15 min and 60 min). For drivers who self-reported a higher frequency of texting while driving the demand for social interaction from texting was more intense and less elastic. Demand was also more intense and less elastic under the 60-min delay condition. The results of this proof-of-concept study suggest that behavioral economic demand analyses are potentially useful for understanding and predicting texting while driving.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)