The wrong tool for the job? The predictive powers of the DBQ in a sample of Queensland motorists

Freeman, James E., Barraclough, Peter, Davey, Jeremy D., af Wåhlberg, Anders, & Watson, Barry C. (2013) The wrong tool for the job? The predictive powers of the DBQ in a sample of Queensland motorists. In Dorn, Lisa & Sullman, Mark (Eds.) Driver Behaviour and Training, Ashgate Publishing, University of Helsinki, Helsinki.

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This study reports on the application of the Manchester Driver Behaviour Questionnaire (DBQ) to examine the self-reported driving behaviours (e.g., speeding, errors & aggressive manoeuvres) and predict crash involvement among a sample of general Queensland motorists.

Material and Methods

Surveys were completed by 249 general motorists on-line or via a pen-and-paper format.


A factor analysis revealed a three factor solution for the DBQ which was consistent with previous Australian-based research. It accounted for 40.5% of the total variance, although some cross-loadings were observed on nine of the twenty items. The internal reliability of the DBQ was satisfactory. However, multivariate analysis using the DBQ revealed little predictive ability of the tool to predict crash involvement or demerit point loss e.g. violation notices. Rather, exposure to the road was found to be predictive of crashes, although speeding did make a small contribution to those who recently received a violation notice.


Taken together, the findings contribute to a growing body of research that raises questions about the predictive ability of the most widely used driving assessment tool globally. Ongoing research (which also includes official crash and offence outcomes) is required to better understand the actual contribution that the DBQ can make to understanding and improving road safety. Future research should also aim to confirm whether this lack of predictive efficacy originates from broader issues inherent within self-report data (e.g., memory recall problems) or issues underpinning the conceptualisation of the scale.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 63773
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Driver Behaviour Questionnaire (DBQ), crashes, demerit point loss, errors, violations
ISBN: 9781472414717
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
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 2013 Ashgate Publishing
Deposited On: 05 Nov 2013 00:26
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2013 16:45

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