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Factors influencing speeding in school zones : the role of mindfulness

Abdul Hanan, Suhaila, King, Mark J., & Lewis, Ioni M. (2011) Factors influencing speeding in school zones : the role of mindfulness. In 10th National Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, 2-4 November 2011, Brisbane Convention & Exbihition Centre, Brisbane, QLD. (Unpublished)

Abstract

Background

Excessive speed contributes to the incidence and severity of road crashes. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) has successfully explained variance in speeding intentions and behaviour. However, studies have shown that more than 40% of the variance in outcome measures of speeding remains unexplained, thus, suggesting additional constructs may help to enhance the TPB’s predictive power. Therefore, this study examined mindfulness; a promising construct which has not yet been tested as an additional TPB predictor.

Aims

The aims of this study were to explore drivers’ beliefs about speeding in school zones using the extended TPB as a framework and to examine the effect that mindfulness had on driver speeding behaviour in school zones.

Methods

Australian drivers (N = 17) participated in one of four focus group discussions. The overall sample was comprised of five males and twelve females who were aged between 17 to56 years. All participants were recruited via purposive sampling among 1st year psychology students at a large South East Queensland University. The group discussions took approximately one hour and were guided by a structured interview schedule which sought to elicit drivers’ beliefs, thoughts and opinions on speeding in school zones and the factors which motivate such behaviour.

Results

Overall, thematic analysis revealed some similar issues emerged across the groups. . In particular and perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, given public concerns regarding the want to ensure the safety of school children, there was much agreement that speeding in school zones was dangerous and unacceptable. Somewhat paradoxically however, some participants also agreed that they had unintentionally or mindlessly sped in school zones. There were several factors that drivers believed influenced their speeding in school zones including their current mood (e.g., if in a bad mood, anxious, or excited they may be more likely to drive without awareness of, and being attentive to, their driving environment) and the extent to which they were familiar with the environment (i.e., more familiar contexts, more likely to drive mindlessly). Thus, although drivers expressed a belief that speeding in school zones was dangerous and acceptable, the extent to which a driver is mindful does influence whether or not a driver may actually engage in speeding in this context.

Discussion and conclusions

This study highlights the potential role of mindfulness in helping to explain speeding behaviour in school zones. Mindless drivers may speed unintentionally and while unintentional still be endangering the safety and lives of school children. The findings of this research suggest that unintentional speeding, especially in school zones, may be reduced by countermeasures which heighten the extent to which drivers are mindful of approaching and/or driving through a school zone, such as street markings and engineering measures (e.g.,flashing lights and speed bumps).

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 50443
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: Mindfulness, Theory of Planned Behaviour, School zones, Speeding, Road safety
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
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 The Authors
Deposited On: 21 May 2012 09:01
Last Modified: 21 May 2012 09:01

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