Assignment: Teen Texting and DrivingTexting and Driving Essay

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Increasing awareness of the dangers of texting and driving starts at home. If parents are going to allow their children to drive a motor vehicle, then the education should begin at home. Obviously new licensed teens have been provided with some education when it comes to safety while operating a motor vehicle, but parents should play a more active role in promoting such. As this may be true, parents must practice what the preach. As in observational learning, one of the constructs in SCT: Social Cognitive Theory, observational learning, states one learns by observing others, whether it be watching a sibling tie their shoes, or watching another ride a bike, one tends to learn by watching others, according to (Bandura 1977). So, parents can take an example from Bandura and be the leaders they want your kids to be. For example, what if a parent is driving their kids to school or an outing, the parent receives a text or proceeds to check their phone while in a red light and nothing happens. The child might say, well mom does it and gets away with it, so can I. (Self-efficacy)

Most states have laws restricting the use of any mobile device while operating a vehicle. California like most states around the country has laws banning the use of cell phone devices while driving (hand held and texting while driving) and ALL cell phone use by young drivers) according to the Data Institute for Highway Safety (2018). Penalties ranging from $150 for the first offense, followed by $250 for the second and thereafter. As in HBM: Health Belief Model, one of the constructs perceived seriousness, being fined and possible having their license taken away for texting and driving might change the way the teen drivers sees their behavior as a problem and in turn, uses another construct perceived benefits and plans a change on their behavior for a better outcome. Also, the fine is considered a moving violation and would constitute as one point against the drivers license will go on your driving record which entail insurance rates to increase according the California Department of Motor Vehicle website. (CALIFORNIA DEPT OF MOTOR VEHICLES, 2019)

One way to combat teen texting and driving to promote the dangers of texting and driving. AT&T and the ITCANWAIT movement, joined forces to advocate towards a no texting and driving campaign. AT&T and the ITCANWAIT movement have produced educational/informative video from those individuals that have had firsthand experience from the dangers of texting and driving. For example, one video highlights high schoolers being interviewed and questioned, as to the why/what the reasons were they looked at their phones while driving. Some of the reasons were; boredom, at a stoplight, traffic, selfies and or (something important might be happening). They seemed to have no care in the world, then they brought in a lovely young girl named Jacey to share her story. Jacey 21 years old, was driving home from her college graduation and was involved in a car accident. The driver of the other car was texting while driving and slammed his semi-truck s into her driver’s side killing both her parents and sending Jacey to the hospital. Jacey spent 2 months in the hospital, 4 months in rehabilitation and now she is partially paralyzed on one side of her body. She shared a personal anecdote, that her father was not here to walk her down the aisle and her story to these high school teens, so they may become aware that those excuses they gave earlier in their interview, really influence other drivers. As in volitional control, the take away from this PSA and most, is that hopefully these teens will refrain from texting and driving and hopefully relate that their own actions indeed have consequences. (, 2019)

According to the AAA foundation for traffic safety, cell phone use is higher among 16-24-year-old drivers. The report also states that female drivers are more likely to involved in fatal accidents compared to male drivers. (AAA Foundation 2019)

A recent study published in the Computers in Human Behavior journal states that cell phone use in adolescents can be highly addictive, with a correlation of cell phone use while driving. The study was conducted via an online survey and with 386 respondents that took part of the online survey. According to the journal article, the results stated that habitual smartphone use is an important contributor to addictive smartphone behavior. The same study recognized that men experience less social stress than women and use their smartphones less for social purposes. Also, older individuals are less likely to develop habitual or addictive smartphone behaviors therefore the use of cell phones while driving demonstrated a decrease with age. (Computer in Human Behavior 2019)

As the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) construct of reinforcement (positive) another way to incite and possibly change the behavior of young adolescent drivers is a monetary compensation. Knowing that the young driver will be compensated for every time they refrain from picking up their phone and by refraining from texting and driving, this might have be a good way to change the young drivers behavior when it comes to texting and driving, which can be a promising intervention. For example, if the young driver refrains from using their phone while driving, they’d be compensated ten dollars a day. If they do it for five days straight, that’ll be fifty dollars a week, and for a young driver, this is a full tank of gas.

Another possible solution is to prevent teen texting and driving is to reward good drivers. Some car insurance companies already have a twenty percent discount for good drivers. This might be a good incentive for families with teen drivers. Obviously, monetary compensation is on an individual scale compared to good driver discount which is on the larger scale. Also, there a few mobile applications including “Everdrive” and “DriveWell” by “Cambridge Mobile Tematics” Both of these mobile applications help the driver with feedback on their own personal driving habits. For example, if one tends to reach for the phone while driving, the app notes this and gives the driver a daily update on the driving behavior patterns. Also, the driver is given the positive feedback as to ways to avoid these habits and patterns. Both applications promise the driver will get at least a thirty percent discount for good driving through most national auto insurance companies. As in SCT: Social Cognitive Theory, one of the constructs, expectancies; if the young driver viewing their behavior change as a positive and receiving the thirty percent discount on their auto insurance, then the expectancy would be a positive one.

My intervention would include a curriculum at the High School level. (when teens are gearing up to get their driver’s license and will start to drive)

We would include this driver’s safety 101 class. As they have wood shop, home ec (economics) or metal. Who really needs wood shop? Are they going to graduate and build boats? Most of them probably not. But one this is for sure, they will be driving after graduation and we want them to be safe drivers. So why don’t we implement a course on the importance of refraining from texting and driving. We would include material from the safety videos. Invited speakers; such as law enforcement to speak about the casualties and cost. We would also have victims of texting and driving individuals to share their stories, like MADD share at forums around the country to previously arrested and convicted DUI individuals.

Theory and Construct:

One of the theories related to teen texting and driving is Health Belief Model: which suggests that people's beliefs about health problems, perceived benefits of action and barriers to action, and self-efficacy explain engagement (or lack of engagement) in health-promoting behavior. Construct: Perceived severity: subjective assessment of the severity of a health problem and its potential consequences. (I don’t think it’s a problem and its not going to happen to me) Modifying variables: age of the driver….in experienced with real life consequences Cue to action: would be the Public Service Announcements (via national broadcast) and the mandatory HS course on the Safety of Driving.

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Assignment: Teen texting and drivingTexting And Driving Essay. (2021, Apr 03). Retrieved May 30, 2024 , from

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