The influence of driver pressure on road safety attitudes and behaviours : a profile of taxi drivers
Rowland, Bevan D., Davey, Jeremy D., Freeman, James E., & Wishart, Darren E. (2008) The influence of driver pressure on road safety attitudes and behaviours : a profile of taxi drivers. In Proceedings of CMRSC-XVIII, The Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals, Whistler, Canada.
While recent years have seen a growing body of work-related road safety research from a behavioural perspective, scant research concerning taxi drivers has been reported. Currently there is little gathered evidence regarding taxi driver’s attitudes and road safety perceptions and research has yet to examine the extent of this group’s engagement in aberrant driving behaviours. This study reports on the development of a Driver Perception of Pressure Questionnaire and the utilisation of abbreviated versions of the Manchester Driver Behaviour Questionnaire (DBQ) and Driver Attitude Questionnaire (DAQ) to provide a profile of the potential effects of driver pressure, self-reported attitudes and corresponding driving behaviours of a sample of taxi drivers (N = 182). Questionnaires were individually distributed to participants at a taxi company depot as well as taxi ranks both during day and night shifts. A series of univariate and bivariate analyses were undertaken to identify relationships between the questionnaires as well as the demographic data. Univariate analyses identified that taxi drivers were more likely to report engaging in aggressive driving acts than speeding violations, and believed speeding was more acceptable compared to drink driving, following too closely or engaging in risky overtaking manoeuvres. Bivariate analyses indicated that individuals who reported a greater perception of pressure were more likely to engage in a higher level of aberrant driving behaviours (e.g., aggression & speeding) and also report less safe driving attitudes. Examination of factors related with demerit point loss revealed that the only two factors significantly associated with receiving fines were: i) taxi drivers with a greater perception of negative type pressure and ii) risky driving practices (i.e. overtaking). In contrast to previous research road exposure did not significantly influence taxi-related crash and traffic offence involvement in this sample. Taken together, the results indicate that some taxi drivers do have a significant perception of driver pressure and willingly admit to engaging in unsafe driving practices and thus road safety benefits may result from developing and implementing targeted interventions designed to improve work-related driving among this group. This paper will further outline the major findings of the study as well as highlight possible research avenues to improve both current knowledge and taxi operating practices.
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