SWOV Catalogus

124778

Drivers' attitudes to distraction and other motorists' behaviour : a focus group and observational study.
C 46127 [electronic version only] /80 /83 / ITRD E144633
Diels, C. Reed, N. & Weaver, L.
Crowthorne, Berkshire, Transport Research Laboratory TRL, 2009, 56 p., 17 ref.; Published Project Report ; PPR 435 - ISSN 0968-4093 / ISBN 978-1-84608-835-3

Samenvatting This study was designed to investigate two hypotheses about typical driving behaviours: (1) the majority of motorists engage in behaviours that could be considered unsafe, on a daily basis, and (2) that these unsafe behaviours may be, at least partly, due to social pressure, e.g., strict compliance to the Highway Code is avoided in the belief that this may provoke frustration on behalf of other road users. Following an initial focus group discussion to establish typical unsafe behaviours, an observational on-road study was conducted in which 30 drivers were asked to complete 30-40 minute routes on public roads driving 1) normally and 2) strictly compliant with the Highway Code. Results showed that in the normal drive, more than 80% of the participants exceeded the speed limit, failed to check mirrors and blind spots, and left an insufficient gap distance ("tailgating"). In the compliant drive, there was a greater than fourfold increase in the incidence of tailgating on behalf of other road users when compared to the normal drive. These findings provide support for the contention that the majority of motorists engage in unsafe driving behaviour on a daily basis, and that the high prevalence of unsafe driving behaviour may, at least partly, be the result of social pressure. That is, individuals may engage in unsafe driving behaviour (e.g. speeding) in the belief that this may prevent frustration on behalf of other road users. (Author/publisher)
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