Awareness of risky behaviour among Chinese drivers

Fleiter, Judy J., Watson, Barry C., & Lennon, Alexia J. (2013) Awareness of risky behaviour among Chinese drivers. In Proceedings of the 23rd Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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Abstract

Background

In China, as in many developing countries, rapid increases in car ownership and new drivers have been coupled with a large trauma burden. The World Health Organization has identified key risk factors including speeding, drink-driving, helmet and restraint non-use, overloaded vehicles, and fatigued-driving in many rapidly motorising countries, including China. Levels of awareness of these risk factors among road users are not well understood. Although research identifies speeding as the major factor contributing to road crashes in China, there appears to be widespread acceptance of it among the broader community.

Purpose

To assess self-reported speeding and awareness of crash risk factors among Chinese drivers in Beijing.

Methods

Car drivers (n=299) were recruited from car washing locations and car parks to complete an anonymous questionnaire. Perceptions of the relative risk of drink-driving, fatigued-driving and speeding, and attitudes towards speeding and self-reported driving speeds were assessed.

Results

Overall, driving speeds of >10km/hr above posted limits on two road types (60 and 80 km/hour zones) were reported by more than one third of drivers. High-range speeding (i.e., >30 km/hour in a 60 km/hour zone and >40 km/hour in an 80 km/hour zone) was reported by approximately 5% of the sample. Attitudinal measures indicated that approximately three quarters of drivers reported attitudes that were not supportive of speeding. Drink-driving was identified as the most risky behaviour; 18% reported the perception that drink-driving had the same level of danger as speeding and 82% reported it as more dangerous. For fatigued-driving, 1% reported the perception that it was not as dangerous as speeding; 27.4% reported it as the same level and 71.6% perceived it as more dangerous.

Conclusion

Driving speeds well above posted speed limits were commonly reported by drivers. Speeding was rated as the least dangerous on-road behaviour, compared to drink-driving and fatigued-driving. One third of drivers reported regularly engaging in speeds at least 10km/hr above posted limits, despite speeding being the major reported contributor to crashes. Greater awareness of the risks associated with speeding is needed to help reduce the road trauma burden in China and promote greater speed limit compliance.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 66836
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: China, risk perception, road safety, speeding
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 [please consult the author(s)]
Deposited On: 04 Feb 2014 22:41
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2014 01:47

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