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.



Millions for research into maritime transport and the environment

Maritime transport is a major source of emissions of harmful air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In a new project, a research team from the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) and the University of Gothenburg has received SEK 6.4...


New research programme for more efficient travel

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) is playing an important role in a major new research programme to find radical solutions leading to fewer trips and more efficient travel, along with tools to enable better use of roads and...


Simulator used to practice emergency responses safely

Emergency responses of the police, ambulance, and rescue services are associated with a high risk of accidents, but practicing them in real traffic is neither safe nor permissible. A simulator-based method developed by the Swedish National Road and Transport...


Simulation of cut-in by manually driven vehicles in platooning scenarios

A study in a VTI-driving simulator has showed that a platoon will be able to handle a cut in from a manually driven car. The results of this study have recently been presented at two conferences in Japan.



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...