Predictors of aberrant driving behaviours and accident involvement : quantitative objective and subjective evidence from Chinese and Pakistani drivers

  • Rayna SADIA

Student thesis: PhD Thesis (Lingnan)


Traffic safety has emerged as a primary issue for governments, policymakers, and researchers globally since the surge of automobiles. Outcomes of minimal adherence to traffic safety (road traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities) are detrimental to the socio-economic growth of any country. Human factors, by far, provide efficient opportunities to improve traffic safety than environmental and engineering factors. Among human factors, driving behaviours have higher potential to harm traffic safety than driving performance. Western empirical findings using self-reported measures have established the predictive role of driving behaviours in crash involvement. Due to cultural differences in the traffic environment and lack of traffic awareness, these findings have limited implications for developing countries like China and Pakistan. Thus, the current research aimed to examine driving behaviours (aberrant) in these two countries by incorporating an analysis of existing data (objective measure) and a crosssectional survey method (more subjective self-reported measure). To accomplish this goal, two independent studies were carried out adopting the general traffic safety culture model (Özkan & Lajunen, 2015). Study 1 examined driving behaviours and crash involvement in China (N = 24,220) based on existing crash data collected during 2006-2010 from Guangdong Province. Study 2 was a cross-sectional survey conducted in Pakistan (N = 676) based on the results of Study 1. Considering individual (driver) as the main component of driving with a potential to adversely impact all stakeholders (driver, pedestrians, and other road users), two distal factors (age and gender) were investigated with proximal factors (aberrant driving behaviours; speeding and drunk driving) and accidents. The results of Study 1 established an indirect effect of speeding and accidents with injuries through driving experience. It was inferred that young male drivers were more likely to harm the traffic environment by their (aberrant) driving behaviours. Male drivers with less driving experience were more prone to speeding and accidents with injuries. The results further indicated that among young male drivers, drunk driving violations negatively predicted accidents without injury but positively predicted fatal accidents. However, speeding only positively predicted fatal accidents. Extending this model further, Study 2 incorporated big five personality trait, self-resilience, fatalism beliefs, and attitudes towards traffic safety in addition to age and gender as distal factors to traffic safety framework of Pakistan. Psychometric properties were established through Confirmatory Factor Analysis Cronbach alpha reliability for all translated measures on the data (N = 676) collected from Pakistani drivers. The results of Study 2, consistent with previous literature (Shinar, 2016), indicated that drivers were more likely to be involved in accidents if they scored higher on (aberrant) driving behaviours. Drivers scoring high on agreeableness and conscientiousness were less likely to involve in accidents. The results supported a mediation effect of negative attitude towards traffic safety between distal (fatalism beliefs, extraversion, neurotic, agreeableness, and conscientious) and proximal factors (driving behaviours). Mediation results asserts that road traffic accidents are preventable and traffic safety framework can be devised through country-specific safety interventions. To conclude, age, driving experience, personality, and supportive attitude towards traffic safety are key factors in implementing safe driving practices in the two developing countries. Recommendations will be provided to policymakers targeting interventions at an individual level (driver) to help minimizing adverse traffic outcomes.
Date of Award3 Sept 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Lingnan University
SupervisorOi Ling SIU (Supervisor) & Wai Lan Victoria YEUNG (Supervisor)

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