Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving and contributes to a large number of transportation incidents and fatalities each year. Drivers text while driving despite being aware of the risks. Although some factors related to the decision to text while driving have been elucidated, more remains to be investigated in order to better predict and prevent texting while driving. To study decision making involved in reading a text message while driving, we conducted a discrete choice experiment with 345 adult participants recruited from Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Participants were presented with multiple choice sets, each involving two different scenarios, and asked to choose the scenario in which they would be more likely to text while driving. The attributes of the scenarios were the relationship to the text-message sender, the road conditions, and the importance of the message. The attributes varied systematically across the choice sets. Participants were more likely to read a text message while driving if the sender of the message was a significant other, the message was perceived to be very important, and the participant was driving on rural roads. Discrete choice experiments offer a promising approach to studying decision making in drivers and other populations because they allow for an analysis of multiple factors simultaneously and the trade-offs among different choices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health