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Gender Effects in Young Road Users on Road Safety Attitudes, Behaviors and Risk Perception

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

In the present study, we investigated gender-related effects on road safety attitudes in 2681 young drivers (1458 males, 54.4%; aged 18–22) who filled out several scales assessing attitudes toward road safety issues, driving behavior in specific hypothetical situations, accident risk perception, and concerns about such a risk. We focused only on young drivers to better understand the role of gender in road safety attitudes in a period of life in which risky behaviors are widespread for males and females. Indeed, there is still no agreement as to the nature of these gender differences. According to some authors, the effects of gender on being involved in a crash due to driving skills are either non-existent or largely explained by differences in alcohol consumption. In our study, we found gender differences in road safety attitudes (i.e., “negative attitude toward traffic rules and risky driving”; “negative attitude toward drugs and alcohol” and “tolerance toward speeding”) and in driver behavior (i.e., “errors in inattentive driving” and “driving violations”). This result is consistent in all drivers coming from nine different European countries. Our analyses yielded an important finding concerning risk perception. The results indicate that the level of risk perception during driving is the same for males and females. However, these two groups differ in the level of concern about this risk, with males being less concerned about the risk of a road accident. This suggests that the main difference between these two groups is not strictly related to judgment of the perceived risk probability but rather to the level of concern experienced about the consequences of the risk. This difference between risk perception and worry could explain differences in the frequency of car accidents in the two groups. The present findings may provide new insights for the development of gender-based prevention programs.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean scores of the Accident Risk Perception and Risk Concerns are represented for each group of road users (Car drivers, Motorcyclists, and Non-drivers).
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Figure 2: Mean scores of the Accident Risk Perception and Risk Concerns are represented for each group of road users (Car drivers, Motorcyclists, and Non-drivers).

Mentions: Scores from the two Accident Risk Perception items were submitted to a 2 × 2 mixed-design ANOVA, with Gender as the independent variable and Accident Risk (Probability and Concern) as dependent variables. The ANOVA yielded a significant main effect for Gender, F(1, 2650) = 224.556, p < 0.001, and a significant Gender X Accident Risk interaction, F(1, 2650) = 101.546, p < 0.001, revealing that gender shows different trends for the two risk measures. Contrasts revealed that, while females and males did not differ significantly in the level of accident risk perception, these two groups clearly show a significant difference regarding the level of concern about this risk, with males being significantly less concerned than females about the risk of a road accident, F(1, 2652) = 115.552; p < 0.001, d = 0.42. This result is extremely interesting, as it shows that even if the accident risk perception is the same, males and females differ in their level of concern about this risk (see Figure 2).


Gender Effects in Young Road Users on Road Safety Attitudes, Behaviors and Risk Perception
Mean scores of the Accident Risk Perception and Risk Concerns are represented for each group of road users (Car drivers, Motorcyclists, and Non-drivers).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037216&req=5

Figure 2: Mean scores of the Accident Risk Perception and Risk Concerns are represented for each group of road users (Car drivers, Motorcyclists, and Non-drivers).
Mentions: Scores from the two Accident Risk Perception items were submitted to a 2 × 2 mixed-design ANOVA, with Gender as the independent variable and Accident Risk (Probability and Concern) as dependent variables. The ANOVA yielded a significant main effect for Gender, F(1, 2650) = 224.556, p < 0.001, and a significant Gender X Accident Risk interaction, F(1, 2650) = 101.546, p < 0.001, revealing that gender shows different trends for the two risk measures. Contrasts revealed that, while females and males did not differ significantly in the level of accident risk perception, these two groups clearly show a significant difference regarding the level of concern about this risk, with males being significantly less concerned than females about the risk of a road accident, F(1, 2652) = 115.552; p < 0.001, d = 0.42. This result is extremely interesting, as it shows that even if the accident risk perception is the same, males and females differ in their level of concern about this risk (see Figure 2).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

In the present study, we investigated gender-related effects on road safety attitudes in 2681 young drivers (1458 males, 54.4%; aged 18&ndash;22) who filled out several scales assessing attitudes toward road safety issues, driving behavior in specific hypothetical situations, accident risk perception, and concerns about such a risk. We focused only on young drivers to better understand the role of gender in road safety attitudes in a period of life in which risky behaviors are widespread for males and females. Indeed, there is still no agreement as to the nature of these gender differences. According to some authors, the effects of gender on being involved in a crash due to driving skills are either non-existent or largely explained by differences in alcohol consumption. In our study, we found gender differences in road safety attitudes (i.e., &ldquo;negative attitude toward traffic rules and risky driving&rdquo;; &ldquo;negative attitude toward drugs and alcohol&rdquo; and &ldquo;tolerance toward speeding&rdquo;) and in driver behavior (i.e., &ldquo;errors in inattentive driving&rdquo; and &ldquo;driving violations&rdquo;). This result is consistent in all drivers coming from nine different European countries. Our analyses yielded an important finding concerning risk perception. The results indicate that the level of risk perception during driving is the same for males and females. However, these two groups differ in the level of concern about this risk, with males being less concerned about the risk of a road accident. This suggests that the main difference between these two groups is not strictly related to judgment of the perceived risk probability but rather to the level of concern experienced about the consequences of the risk. This difference between risk perception and worry could explain differences in the frequency of car accidents in the two groups. The present findings may provide new insights for the development of gender-based prevention programs.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus