Introduction: The present study attempted to provide a proof-of-concept of usefulness of cluster analysis for identifying distinct and practically meaningful subgroups of drivers who differed in their perceived risk and frequency of texting while driving (TWD). Method: Using a hierarchical cluster analysis, which involves sequential steps in which individual cases are merged together one at a time based on their similarities, the study first attempted to identify distinct subgroups of drivers who differed in their perceived risk and frequency of TWD. To further evaluate the meaningfulness of the subgroups identified, the subgroups were compared in terms of levels of trait impulsivity and impulsive decision making for each gender. Results: The study identified the following three distinct subgroups: (a) drivers who perceive TWD as risky but frequently engage in TWD; (b) drivers who perceive TWD as risky and infrequently engage in TWD; and (c) drivers who perceive TWD as not so risky and frequently engage in TWD. The subgroup of male, but not female, drivers who perceive TWD as risky but frequently engage in TWD showed significantly higher levels of trait impulsivity, but not impulsive decision making, than the other two subgroups. Discussion: This is the first demonstration that drivers who frequently engage in TWD can be categorized into two distinct subgroups that differ in terms of the perceived risk of TWD. Practical applications: For drivers who perceived TWD as risky yet frequently engage in TWD, the present study suggests that different intervention strategies may be needed for each gender.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality