An experimental study was conducted to examine the attribution of responsibility for alcohol-related near-miss accidents. Ninety-six observers were presented with specially prepared accident scenarios in which the level of unsafe driving behavior (none, drinking, drinking and speeding) and the severity of accident outcome were varied. The results indicated that less responsibility was assigned to the perpetrator for near-misses than for more severe accidents, regardless of the presence or absence of unsafe behavior. Recommended penalties also varied with severity of outcome, particularly for drinking and driving accidents. In general, the culpability of drinking and driving appeared to depend on the consequences produced. The perceived seriousness of this behavior varied according to whether it led to a secondary unsafe driving act or whether it was associated with serious harm to others. When neither of these occurred, drinking and driving was not viewed as being significantly more serious than no unsafe behavior. Some implications of these findings for safety are discussed.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    National Safety Council

    444 North Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL  United States  60611
  • Authors:
    • DeJoy, D M
    • Klippel, J A
  • Publication Date: 1984

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00395309
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-037 891
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 30 1985 12:00AM