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Accid Anal Prev. 2008 Mar;40(2):644-56. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2007.09.001. Epub 2007 Sep 25.

Modeling safe and unsafe driving behaviour.

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Department of Psychology, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9555, 2300 RB, Leiden, The Netherlands.


A sample of 743 Dutch drivers was queried about driving-related errors and violations, and about the frequency of their accident involvement over the past 3 years. In addition, the following risky behaviours and characteristics related to driving were measured through self-report: strategic decisions made about driving before starting a trip, attitudes related to committing violations, psychological precursors of unsafe driving (such as being tired or stressed when driving), and physical precursors of unsafe driving (suffering physical or psychological handicaps when driving). The results show that several scales have acceptable reliability coefficients, though several others are in need of improvement. Path analysis showed that an acceptable structural model could be developed to describe all empirical relationships. Considerable parts of the variance in the violations scores and the psychological precursors scores could be explained by the other model variables. In terms of predictive power, "unsafe" attitudes, physical precursors, and psychological precursors had the most impact, each explaining up to 9% of the variance in violations scores, errors scores, and/or psychological precursors scores. The way these results can be utilized in future accident prevention programs and in driver training programs are indicated, as are their implications for future research.

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