Texting and Driving: A Look at Self-Control, Social Learning Theory, Knowledge, and Adherence to the Law among Young Drivers
Green, Fredrick L.
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Despite the all the safety features the motor vehicle industry has designed over the years, many car accidents still occur here in the United States. In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association announced approximately 10% of the total 32,675 people who died on United States highways was due to distracted driving, while over 400,000 were injured in a distracted driving incident. One reason for distracted driving is the use of one’s cellphone during driving. Over the past thirty years the phone industry has made many advances and introduced new ways to communicate with one another. One prominent form of communication, especially with the younger generations is text messaging. This study looks to explain texting while driving behavior through two theoretical frameworks, The General Theory of Crime and Social Learning Theory. In addition, this study explores whether knowledge of the law means adherence to the law. Four hypotheses were created including parental and peer influence derived from Social Learning Theory, self-control derived from the General Theory of Crime, and knowledge of the law to explore if these were significant predictors in texting while driving behavior. All four analyses failed to reach significance. Explanations for these findings and future research are discussed within.