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Personality factors as predictors of persistent risky driving behavior and crash involvement among young adults
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  1. Pauline Gulliver,
  2. Dorothy Begg
  1. Dunedin School of Medicine, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Pauline Gulliver, Injury Prevention Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand; pauline.gulliver{at}ipru.otago.ac.nz

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between personality factors assessed during adolescence and persistent risky driving behavior and traffic crash involvement among young adults.

Design: Data for this investigation were drawn from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a longitudinal study of a cohort born in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Subjects: The study population was 1037 young people born between 1 April 1972 and 31 March 1973.

Main outcome measures: The main outcome measures were persistent risky driving behaviors and crash involvement, collected in a face-to-face road-safety interview at ages 21 and 26.

Results: The only outcomes for which there were sufficient numbers of females were a driver involved in any crash and a driver involved in an injury crash. Univariate logistic regression revealed that there were no significant predictors for either of these outcomes. For the males, at the univariate level, aggression, traditionalism, and alienation were the personality scales most frequently associated with risky driving behavior and crash risk. After adjusting for driving exposure, only high levels of aggression predicted being a driver involved in a crash, and alienation predicted being a driver involved in an injury crash.

Conclusion: These results suggest that road-safety interventions seeking to deter young adult males from persistent risky driving behavior need to be directed at those who do not endorse traditional views, are aggressive, and feel alienated from the rest of society.

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Footnotes

  • The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand. The Injury Prevention Research Unit is jointly funded by the Health Research Council and the Accident Compensation Corporation.

  • Competing Interests: None

  • Abbreviations:
    DMHDS
    Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study
    MPQ
    Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire