Analysis of Risky and Aggressive Driving Behaviors among Adult Iowans

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Huang, Yundi
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Konstantina Gkritza
Jing Dong
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Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

In 2011 alone, risky and aggressive driving behaviors were reported as contributing factors for 43,668 drivers who have been involved in 29,757 fatal crashes in the U.S.; these behaviors have become a growing problem recently. To alleviate this problem, the exploratory research study was designed to examine the relationship of perception of, acceptance/permissiveness of, and experience with various risky and aggressive driving behaviors among adult Iowans. Past studies have recommended developing comprehensive research to analyze the aggressive behaviors from the perspective of transportation engineering. Therefore, a cell phone and landline questionnaire survey covering a wide range of traffic safety topics such as attitudes toward traffic safety policies, enforcement, activities, and driving experience was disseminated across the State in 2011. 1,088 respondents were eventually involved, and their perceptions, attitudes, and practices of aggressive driving behaviors including speeding, red-light running (RLR), and driving with aggression (DWA) were investigated.

Path analysis, which is a special case of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) techniques, was used to estimate conceptual mediating models that were constructed based on a proposed version the theory of reasoned action (TRA). Mediating models for these three behaviors were analyzed from perception to experience through acceptance/permissiveness, where acceptance/permissiveness was the mediator. The results from several conceptual models indicated that the respondents held more tolerating attitudes towards speeding and DWA than towards RLR, and participants' enhanced perceptions on the behaviors raised their experience with behaving aggressively both directly and indirectly through their accepting/permissive attitudes towards aggressive driving. Moreover, an individual's demographic characteristics and travel information were also examined to investigate the relationship between aggressive driving behaviors and driver's characteristics. The results showed that young male drivers were found more aggressive than female drivers and older age groups. In addition, several SEM structural models were also established and verified the results obtained from conceptual models.

This study provides valuable findings to engineers, policy makers, and companies with various interventions and applications, in a bid to improve driver's driving behaviors and the overall traffic safety in Iowa.

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Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2014