The Effect of Speed Limit Credibility on Drivers' Speed Choice

Credibility of speed limits is a key factor affecting drivers’ compliance with speed limits. Two experiments were conducted to investigate how credibility of speed limits affects judgments of appropriate speed. The first experiment aimed to establish speeds deemed appropriate by investigating Malaysians drivers’ judgments of the appropriate speed to drive based on photographs of roads with the speed limit sign erased. Drivers chose speeds which correlated with but were higher than the actual speed limits of the roads. Analysis of road characteristics suggested they based their decisions mainly on features of the road itself rather than of the roadside. The second experiment tested the impact of credibility of speed limit information on the speed drivers judged appropriate. Drivers judged the appropriate speed to drive for the same photographs as in Experiment 1 with speed limit information provided. Four conditions were included: two conditions where the speed limit posted was 10% higher or 10% lower than the appropriate speed established in Experiment 1 (credible speed limits), and two conditions where the posted speed limit was 50% higher or 50% lower than the appropriate speed (non-credible speed limits). Posted speed limits did affect drivers’ judgments about the appropriate speed to drive. Credibility also influenced judgments whereby drivers selected appropriate speeds consistent with the speed limits for the 10% lower condition, but not for speed limits that deviated highly from the appropriate speed judged in Experiment 1.


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  • Accession Number: 01626457
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2017 9:06AM