Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Human Factors Psychology

Committee Chair/Advisor

Tyrrell, Richard

Committee Member

Britt, Thomas

Committee Member

Pagano, Christopher

Committee Member

Rosopa, Patrick


Drivers typically underuse their high beam headlamps at night even under ideal conditions (i.e., no leading, following, or oncoming vehicles). One explanation for this is a lack of knowledge regarding both the magnitude of visibility problems at night and the benefits that high beams provide. The purpose of the present study was to design and evaluate an educational intervention based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) that targeted a more appropriate reliance on high beams. The results of Study 1 indicated that attitudes toward high beams best predicted intentions to use high beams. This information informed the design of an intervention delivered and evaluated in Study 2. TPB components accounted for 41% of the variance in intentions to use high beams and 38% of the variance in high beam usage. The educational intervention and implementation intentions did not significantly increase drivers' use of high beams. Future research should continue to investigate predictors of high beam use and additional ways in which drivers can be encouraged to use their high beams appropriately.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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