Michelle Nicolls | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Michelle Nicolls

BSocSc(Psych) (Hons) USC

  • PhD Candidate & Research Assistant
Office location
Room G.68, Innovation Centre
Sunshine Coast
Michelle Nicolls

Michelle Nicolls is currently completing her PhD with a focus on phone use and young drivers. Michelle’s research is exploring how social norms influence young drivers’ engagement in phone use while driving, and examining the impact social norm messages have in reducing engagement in the behaviour. Since starting in 2021, Michelle has published a systematic review and finished data collection for her first study. She has now commenced data collection for her final study and has plans to publish three more papers from her research.

Michelle is also working as a research assistant within MAIC/UniSC Road Safety Research Collaboration. She is currently completing a systematic review of the effectiveness of messaging campaigns/interventions aimed at reducing engagement in phone use while driving. In addition, Michelle is working on projects that are exploring the impact social media has on driving behaviours.

Professional Membership

  • Australasian College of Road Safety


  • MAIC/UniSC Road Safety Research Collaboration PhD Scholarship

Research areas

  • Young drivers
  • Distracted driving
  • Road safety countermeasures

Recent Publications

  • Nicolls, M., Truelove, V., & Stefanidis, K. B. (2022). The impact of descriptive and injunctive norms on engagement in mobile phone use while driving in young drivers: A systematic review. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 175. 106774. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2022.106774
  • Nicolls, M., Truelove, V., & Watson-Brown, N. (2022). Self-regulation and tailgating behaviours among young drivers. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 89, 347-354. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2022.07.007
  • Ochenasek, M., Truelove, V., Stefanidis, K. B., & Watson-Brown, N. (2021). Examining the impact of both legal and nonlegal factors on following a vehicle too closely utilizing three deterrence-based theories. Journal of Criminology. https:doi.org/10.1177/26338076211065208