Socio-cultural characteristics of high versus low risk societies regarding road traffic safety

In this study, 15 Western European countries were compared for two periods, 1989-1991, and 1997-1999. The aim was to better understand the relation between different socio-cultural factors, regulations related to traffic safety, and fatal traffic deaths. The question is also posed as to whether such factors are functional in the search for a safety typology aimed to characterize nations with regard to safety. Despite increased similarity regarding traffic regulation, the differences regarding fatal deaths in motor vehicle road accidents remain among the countries studied. The only studied factor that has changed its relation to motor traffic accidents during the two periods is the number of cars which has lost its importance. The conclusion of the study is that type of religion and wealth of the country seem to be the most important factors. Type of religion in the country seems to have an impact on values related to safety. Being a Catholic country or not seems to be as important as being a wealthy country or not. Being a non-wealthy Catholic country leads to more traffic accidents than being a wealthy Catholic country. Being a wealthy Catholic country, however, does seem to lead to more traffic accidents than being a similar wealthy but non-Catholic country. A safety typology with three to five categories is found. The most outspoken categories are Catholic, Protestant and Mixed. The five categories should be Non-wealthy Catholic, Wealthy Catholic, Anglo-Saxon, Safe Protestant and Continental Protestant. The typology have similarities to typologies which have been developed in welfare research.


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  • Accession Number: 01049910
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 23 2007 12:25PM