Risky attitudes towards road use in pre-drivers
Waylen, A.E. and McKenna, F.P. (2008) Risky attitudes towards road use in pre-drivers. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 40 (3). pp. 905-911. ISSN 0001-4575
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2007.10.005
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the principal causes of adolescent disability or mortality and male drivers are more likely to be involved in road accidents than female drivers. In part such associations between driver age and sex have been linked to differences in risky behaviour (e.g. speed, violations) and individual characteristics (e.g. sensation seeking, deviant behaviour). The aim of this research is to determine whether associations between risky road user behaviour and individual characteristics are a function of driver behaviour or whether they are intrinsic and measurable in individuals too young to drive. Five hundred and sixty-seven pre-driver students aged 11-16 from three secondary schools completed questionnaires measuring enthusiasm for speed, sensation seeking, deviant behaviour and attitudes towards driver violations. Boys reported more risky attitudes than girls for all measures. Associations between sensation seeking, deviant behaviour and attitudes towards risky road use were present from early adolescence and were strongest around age 14, before individuals learn to drive. Risky attitudes towards road use are associated with individual characteristics and are observed in adolescents long before they learn to drive. Safe attitudes towards road use and driver behaviour should be promoted from childhood in order to be effective. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.