Do drivers become less risk-prone after answering a questionnaire on risky driving behaviour?

Two studies showed that answering a questionnaire regarding self-reported risky driving behavior and attitudes led to a significant (p < 0.001) decrease in self-reported risky driving behavior at a follow-up some five weeks after answering the first questionnaire. In Study I participants (193 men, 18-20 years old) also reported more concern about hurting others, increased subjective probability of accidents, but less thinking about injuries at follow-up. In Study 2 (149 men, 18-19 years old) effects on attitudes at follow-up were not tested. The results are discussed in terms of the question-behavior effect, that is, questioning a person about a certain behavior can influence his future performance of that behavior. Assuming that most young male drivers essentially disapprove of traffic violations, it is argued that answering the questionnaire served as an intervention that made attitudes more accessible and led to a polarization towards stronger disapproval of traffic violations, which in turn influenced reported risky driving behavior. The need to develop alternative instruments for evaluating effects of experimental traffic safety interventions is also discussed.


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  • Accession Number: 01146360
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2009 1:19PM