Re-conceptualising the reckless driving behaviour of young drivers

Reckless driving is a major contributing factor to road morbidity and mortality. While further research into the nature and impact of reckless driving, particularly among young people, is urgently needed, the measurement of reckless driving behaviour also requires increased attention. Three major shortcomings apparent in established measures of driver behaviour are that they do not target the full range of reckless driving behaviours, they measure characteristics other than driving behaviours, and/or they fail to categorise and label reckless driver behaviour based on characteristics of the behaviours themselves. To combat these shortcomings, this paper reports the development and preliminary validation of a new measure of reckless driving behaviour for young drivers. Exploratory factor analysis of self-reported driving data revealed four, conceptually distinct categories of reckless driving behaviour: those that increase crash-risk due to (a) distractions or deficits in perception, attention or reaction time (labelled “distracted”), (b) driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (labelled “substance-use”), (c) placing the vehicle in an unsafe environment beyond its design expectations (labelled “extreme”), and (d) speed and positioning of the vehicle relative to other vehicles and objects (labelled “positioning”). Confirmatory factor analysis of data collected from a separate, community sample confirmed this four-factor structure. Multiple regression analyses found differences in the demographic and psychological variables related to these four factors, suggesting that interventions in one reckless driving domain may not be helpful in others.


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  • Accession Number: 01532499
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 1 2014 12:28PM