Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Konstantina Gkritza


Traffic safety culture does not merely focus on risky behaviors and their consequences, but also on creating better social norms, values, and beliefs. Past research has recommended establishing a comprehensive program to shape the culture from different aspects of society as the most effective method to create a comprehensive traffic safety culture in the United States (U.S.). In 2011, a cell phone and landline questionnaire survey regarding Iowa traffic safety culture was conducted across the State. The survey gauged opinions from 1088 participants on traffic safety and driving experience in Iowa, which covered a wide range of traffic safety topics including traffic enforcement, driver education program, various driving behaviors, and attitudes toward traffic safety policies, activities and enforcement techniques. A descriptive analysis of the responses revealed a need for in-depth study of the current culture related to distracted driving in Iowa.

A Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was estimated to define the relationship among individual characteristics (participants' socioeconomic and demographic status), experience and attitudes towards distracted driving. The preliminary model results indicated that the socioeconomic and demographic statuses were explained significantly by age, gender, education, and household income. Four other latent variables: distractibility (DB), self-reported distracted driving behavior (SDDB), personal acceptability for distracted driving (PADD) and prediction of possible accidents (PPA) caused by distraction were formed based on the participant's responses on selected distracted driving-related questions. The SEM estimation results suggested that participants' distracted driving attitudes, experiences and behaviors were highly correlated, and also that participants' characteristics were strongly influenced their attitudes, experiences and behaviors on distracted driving. The results of this study can be useful for developing interventions designed for target groups of drivers (with different individual characteristics) in a bid to transform distracted driving safety culture.


Copyright Owner

Wanjun Li



File Format


File Size

144 pages