Attitudes, risk behaviour and accident involvement among Norwegian drivers

Hilde Iversen
Torbjörn Rundmo

Increasingly, professionals on safety and risk issues are becoming aware that there are occasions when people's attitudes and behaviour towards risk and hazard have to be changed. This paper attempts to identify determinants of risk behaviour and accident involvement in traffic, with the aim of developing effective accident countermeasures. Several studies have related risk behaviour to traffic safety issues like collision risk and accident rates, but the relationship between accidents and preceding behaviour is still largely unclear. Attitude change is often hypothesized as a way of changing road user behaviour. However, correspondence between measured dispositions and overt actions is not a simple matter, and more research is needed addressing this issue in road safety research. Examination of associations between attitudes, risk behaviour and involvement in near misses and accidents can help develop more adjusted and effective traffic safety interventions by early identification of those more likely to be involved in accidents. A major challenge is to find measures that influence the groups of high-risk recipients more efficiently. This study is based on a self-completion questionnaire survey carried out among a representative sample of Norwegian drivers. The sample was representative of the Norwegian public and collected in year 2000 and 2001 (n=2614), with a 50% response rate. The questionnaire included measures of attitudes, risk behaviour, reactions from others and involvement in near accidents and accidents. Results showed that attitudes towards traffic safety issues were associated with involvement in risk behaviour in traffic, especially attitudes towards rule violations and speeding. In addition, risk behaviour had a direct effect on the reactions drivers receive from others in traffic and both involvement in near misses andaccidents. Near misses and especially reactions from others influenced accident involvement directly.



ERPUG 2017

The five year anniversary of  European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017. 

Shipping and the environment – research meets reality

Centre for Transport Studies (CTS) in co-operation with Ports of Stockholm invite you to the seminar Shipping and the environment – research meets reality.




The five-year anniversary of European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017.


Self-driving buses in Sweden next year?

A self-driving, fossil-free bus. This idea might become reality through a forthcoming collaborative project involving the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Linköping University and several other participants. The project group aim...


New climate-proof solutions for hard surfaces in cities

High-density road infrastructure that emphasise maximum durability and minimum maintenance create inflexible systems, which put increased stress on urban trees and lead to increased risk for flooding. Over the past five years, the ‘Climate-proof solutions for...


VTI is preparing for automated vehicles

Automation of traffic systems will lead to major changes. The European Union’s (EU) CoEXist research project began in June 2017 with the aim of preparing cities and road operators for the introduction of self-driving vehicles. The Swedish National Road and...


Vehicle Driver Monitoring: sleepiness and cognitive load

To prevent road crashes it is important to understand driver related contributing factors, which have been suggested to be the critical reason in 94 per cent of crashes. The overall aim of the project Vehicle Driver Monitoring has been to advance the...


Tomas Svensson new director-general

Tomas Svensson was today appointed Director-General of VTI. Tomas has been acting Director-General since January 2017.