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Ann Adv Automot Med. 2010;54:287-94.

Factors associated with speeding penalties in novice drivers.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, University of Tartu, Estonia Department of Psychology, University of Tartu, Estonia.


Novice drivers are an important risk group in traffic and speed limit exceeding is one of the major risk factors for traffic collisions. In this paper we explore how impulsivity measures, driving skills and driving safety are associated with speed limit exceeding in novice drivers if described variables are measured on the same subjects. Participants of the study were 909 novice car-drivers (mean age 24.7(SD=7.5) years). Subjects filled Barratt Impulsivity Scale, Adaptive and Maladaptive Impulsivity Scale (AMIS), Social Motivation Scale and Driver Skill Inventory (DSI). The data on traffic violations were obtained from the police database and the data on traffic collisions from the national traffic insurance database. During the one year follow-up time 49 drivers received penalties by the traffic police for exceeding the speed limits. Based on the traffic police penalties for speed limit exceeding, subjects were classified as speed limit exceeders (cases) and controls. Among speed limit exceeders, the proportions of drunk drivers (6.1% vs 0.7%), subjects with other violations (44.9 % vs 12.7%), and passive traffic collisions (the subject was not guilty in the traffic collisions) (18.4 % vs 6.4%) were greater in comparison with controls. Simple logistic regression analysis revealed that speed limit exceeders were more likely to have higher scores in Excitement Seeking (OR(95%CI)=1.09(1.02-1.16)) and Fast Decision-Making (OR(95%CI)=1.09(1.02-1.17)) in AMIS, and in Driving skills in DSI (OR(95%CI)=1.19(1.13-1.25)) than controls. Overestimated Driving skills in DSI was the strongest predictor of speed limit exceeding if compared to other psychometrical variables in the total sample and in men, and besides Disinhibition in women. The results show that speed limit exceeders perceive their driving skills inadequately. We see a need to develop new possibilities where drivers can objectively estimate their own skills and impulsivity tendencies.

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