Significant others, who are they? - Examining normative influences on speeding

Fleiter, Judy J., Watson, Barry C., Lennon, Alexia J., & Lewis, Ioni M. (2006) Significant others, who are they? - Examining normative influences on speeding. In 2006 Australasian Road Safety Research Policing Education Conference, 25th to 27th October 2006, Gold Coast.


This paper examines normative influences on self-reported driving speeds of 160 male and 160 female Queensland drivers, aged 16-79 years. Previous research suggests a variety of ‘significant others’ can influence many road user behaviours, including driving speed. The presence of passengers, behaviour of other drivers, and attitudes of peers and relatives can impact on driver behaviour. The current research examined normative influences on speeding through the lens of Akers’ social learning theory, which posits that learning occurs via the central process of differential association. This concept refers to our associations with others and how these expose us to rewards, punishments, attitudes, and models of behaviour. While considerable research has focused on the influence of peers, Akers theorised that the family is also an important source of learning. The current research therefore, investigated the influence of family and friends on speeding across age and gender, utilising self-report measures. As anticipated, the degree to which significant others were perceived to approve of speeding (i.e., normative influence of family and friends) was significantly associated with more frequent speeding among participants. More particularly, this apparent influence of family and peers on speeding behaviour was found to be independent of the age and gender of the participants. Consistent with previous social learning theory research, peer influence was the strongest predictor of self-reported speeding in this sample. Nonetheless, the influence of family members also appeared important. As such, the role of both family and friends needs to be considered when developing countermeasures to speeding.

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ID Code: 5450
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Driving speed, driver behaviour, attitudes, Akers Social Learning Theory
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700)
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
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 14 Nov 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:24

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