THE "GENETICS" OF DRIVING BEHAVIOR
 
Bianchi, A. and Summala, H., University of Helsinki, Finland
 
It is hypothesized that children inherit their parents' driving habits both through genetic dispositions and model learning. A few studies have shown indeed that parents' and their children's traffic convictions and accidents correlate. However, exposure factors at several levels induce bias in such analyses. This study aimed at investigating the relationships between parents' and their childrens' self-reported driving behavior. The subjects were 174 parent-child pairs who independently filled a questionnaire. Driving behavior - driving style - was evaluated by means of Manchester Driver Behavior Questionnaire (DBQ), while data about driving exposure, life style, accidents, and infractions to traffic law were also collected. A series of regression models indicate that parents' self reported driving behavior explains their children's self reported behavior, especially ordinary violations like speeding, even when exposure and demographic and life-style factors are controlled.