The social context of motorcycle riding and the key determinants influencing rider behaviour : a qualitative investigation

Tunnicliff, Deborah J., Watson, Barry C., White, Katherine M., Lewis, Ioni M., & Wishart, Darren E. (2011) The social context of motorcycle riding and the key determinants influencing rider behaviour : a qualitative investigation. Traffic Injury Prevention, 12(4), pp. 363-376.

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Objective: Given the increasing popularity of motorcycle riding and heightened risk of injury or death associated with being a rider, this study explored rider behaviour as a determinant of rider safety and, in particular, key beliefs and motivations which influence such behaviour. To enhance the effectiveness of future education and training interventions, it is important to understand riders’ own views about what influences how they ride. Specifically, this study sought to identify key determinants of riders’ behaviour in relation to the social context of riding including social and identity-related influences relating to the group (group norms and group identity) as well as the self (moral/personal norm and self-identity). ----- ----- Method: Qualitative research was undertaken via group discussions with motorcycle riders (n = 41). Results: The findings revealed that those in the group with which one rides represent an important source of social influence. Also, the motorcyclist (group) identity was associated with a range of beliefs, expectations, and behaviours considered to be normative. Exploration of the construct of personal norm revealed that riders were most cognizant of the “wrong things to do” when riding; among those issues raised was the importance of protective clothing (albeit for the protection of others and, in particular, pillion passengers). Finally, self-identity as a motorcyclist appeared to be important to a rider’s self-concept and was likely to influence their on-road behaviour. ----- ----- Conclusion: Overall, the insight provided by the current study may facilitate the development of interventions including rider training as well as public education and mass media messages. The findings suggest that these interventions should incorporate factors associated with the social nature of riding in order to best align it with some of the key beliefs and motivations underpinning riders’ on-road behaviours.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
6 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 41725
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: motorcyclist safety, social context of riding, Theory of Planned Behaviour, social influences, identity, qualitative research
DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2011.577653
ISSN: 1538-9588
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
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 2011 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in [Traffic Injury Prevention (forthcoming)]. [Traffic Injury Prevention] is available online at informaworld
Deposited On: 18 May 2011 22:01
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2012 05:35

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