Factors influencing young drivers? risk perceptions and speeding behaviour
Keywords: Young Drivers
Submission Date: 2006
Research focusing on young novice drivers? risk perceptions has shown that inexperienced drivers underestimate the risks associated with a range of driving situations. Personality factors are an important influence on both risk perceptions and driving behaviour. The study investigated the strength of relationship between specific personality factors, risk perceptions, and speeding behaviour among young, mainly inexperienced drivers. One-hundred and fifty-
nine students aged between 17 and 20 completed an online questionnaire assessing five facets
of personality, four components of risk perception, and a self-report measure of speeding
behaviour. Using structural equation modeling, 39% of the variance in young drivers? speeding was accounted for by excitement-seeking, altruism, their aversion to risk taking, and their own likelihood of having a crash. The influences of excitement-seeking and altruism are partly mediated by their aversion to risk taking, while the influence of altruism on speeding is also partly mediated by their own likelihood of having a crash. Further consideration should be given to road safety interventions that strengthen young drivers? appreciation of the impact of their actions on others through positive reinforcement of altruistic norms.