Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert Turrisi, Department of Psychology, The University at Albany, State University of New York, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222.
Drinking and Driving: Perceptions and Evaluations as a Function of Level of Intoxication and Weather
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 18, Issue 10, pages 891–903, August 1988
How to Cite
Turrisi, R. J., Suls, J., Serio, S. and Reisman, S. (1988), Drinking and Driving: Perceptions and Evaluations as a Function of Level of Intoxication and Weather. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 18: 891–903. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1988.tb01182.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Over the past decade, drinking and driving has been a major social problem causing deaths and injuries. The present study examined factors that may encourage this potentially self-destructive behavior. Three hundred and seventy-eight subjects were presented with scenarios describing a night of drinking with friends. Scenarios differed with respect to three levels of intoxication (not at all, slight, and very) and two levels of weather (clear and rain). Subjects were asked to estimate the proportion of their peers who would drive home or choose an alternative form of transportation. Subjects were also asked to evaluate the target who drove home or took an alternative in terms of likability, cautiousness, skillfulness and independence. Driving home was found to be the most common mode of transportation, regardless of state of drunkenness or weather conditions. Alternatives to driving home were seen as being utilized only under extreme conditions (e.g., very intoxicated and rainy weather). Moreover, persons taking one of the more cautious alternatives were perceived as overly cautious and also low in skillfulness. The practical implications for the findings are discussed with respect to enhancing education efforts.