CROSS-CULTURAL MODELS OF ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT RISK: PERSONALITY, BEHAVIOURAL, COGNITIVE AND DEMOGRAPHIC PREDICTORS
 
McNally, I.M., University of Central Lancashire, UK
 
A questionnaire is being circulated throughout the UK to explore the relationship between personality, behavioural, cognitive and demographic factors in an attempt to develop a predictive model of road traffic accident (RTA) frequency and severity. It is hypothesised that Type A Behaviour Pattern (TABP) will increase the probability of involvement in RTAs due to the high levels of aggression/hostility, sense of urgency, and competitive behaviour usually exhibited by individuals that exhibit this personality trait. It is also hypothesised that an elevated level of sensation seeking (SS) would strengthen the probability of involvement in RTAs due to the increased likelihood of engaging in Aberrant Driving Behaviour. In addition, it has also been shown in previous research that individuals with a high degree of either trait-anxiety (both physical and emotional symptoms of nervousness), or cognitive failure (i.e. everyday slips and lapses), are more likely to be involved in an accident. As a result, questions on trait-anxiety and cognitive failures are also included. In addition to exposure to the driving environment (e.g. average miles per year), and vehicle insurance group (an index to vehicle performance), attention is also being paid to the demographic variables such as age, sex, and occupation. Respondents are also being asked to record the number and severity of RTAs that they had been involved in over the past three years, i.e.; head-on accident, rear-end accident, intersection accident, sideswipe accident, single-vehicle accident, and accidents involving either pedestrians or cyclists. Each respondent is also required to report any fatalities, serious or slight injuries that have occurred, as well as level of damage to vehicle, or vehicles, involved. The second stage will be conducted in two contrasting European cultures. The questionnaire has already been translated into Italian and Finnish, and it is hoped that it will be circulated in the respective states in 2002.