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Risky driving or risky drivers? Exploring driving and crash histories of illegal street racing offenders

Leal, Nerida L., Watson, Barry C., & Armstrong, Kerry A. (2010) Risky driving or risky drivers? Exploring driving and crash histories of illegal street racing offenders. Transportation Research Record, 2182(2010), pp. 16-23.

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Abstract

Illegal street racing has received increased attention in recent years from road safety professionals and the media as jurisdictions in Australia, Canada, and the United States have implemented laws to address the problem, which primarily involves young male drivers. Although some evidence suggests that the prevalence of illegal street racing is increasing, obtaining accurate estimates of the crash risk of this behavior is difficult because of limitations in official data sources. Although crash risk can be explored by examining the proportion of incidents of street racing that result in crashes, or the proportion of all crashes that involve street racing, this paper reports on the findings of a study that explored the riskiness of involved drivers. The driving histories of 183 male drivers with an illegal street racing conviction in Queensland, Australia, were compared with a random sample of 183 male Queensland drivers with the same age distribution. The offender group was found to have significantly more traffic infringements, license sanctions, and crashes than the comparison group. Drivers in the offender group were more likely than the comparison group to have committed infringements related to street racing, such as speeding, "hooning," and offenses related to vehicle defects or illegal modifications. Insufficient statistical capacity prevented full exploration of group differences in the type and nature of earlier crashes. It was concluded, however, that street racing offenders generally can be considered risky drivers who warrant attention and whose risky behavior cannot be explained by their youth alone.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 41028
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Illegal street racing, young male drivers, crash risk
DOI: 10.3141/2182-03
ISSN: 0361-1981
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Transportation Research Board of the National Academies
Deposited On: 29 Mar 2011 13:54
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 10:09

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