3rd Annual Scholarship (April 2002)

​             made to  Dr. Timo Lajunen from Finland

on the subject of Personality factors, life-style and driver behaviour: three studies

Report Abstract (465 words):

Why are young men risky drivers? The relationships between sex-role, life-style and risky driving

In two studies, correlates of risky driving among young Turkish drivers were investigated. The aim of the first study was to investigate how gender (male and female) and sex-role (masculine, feminine, androgyny and undifferentiated) are associated with risky driving behaviour, traffic offences and accident involvement among young drivers. Three hundred and fifty four young drivers (221 males and 133 females) filled in a form including a short form of the BEM Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI), the Driver Behaviour Questionnaire (DBQ) and questions about a driver's accident history and background information. Participants were classified into one of the sex-role groups according to their BSRI scores by using a median-split separately for men and women. ANOVA results showed male drivers reported a higher number of aggressive and ordinary violations than the female drivers did. High masculinity score was related to high number of ordinary (highway code) violations and penalties. Among young male drivers, participants having high masculinity scores reported more aggressive and ordinary violations than other sex-role groups did. Sex-role did not have effects on driving measures among female drivers.

In the second study, the objective was to study the relationships between young drivers' life-style, personality (sensation seeking tendency) and driving behaviour. A survey containing a life-style inventory (LSI), Zuckerman's Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS), DBQ and questions about driving history (mileage, active and passive accidents, punishments), was administered to 344 participants (230 of them having a driving licence). Factor analysis was conducted on the LSI to identify the predominant life-style types. Five orthogonal life-style factors were found: religion (e.g. fasting, going to mosque), social orientation (e.g. meeting with friends in cafes, cinema), "parties and sport" (e.g. matches, sport, discos), culture (e.g. poems, Turkish folk music), and home orientation (e.g. staying at home, TV). Poisson and negative binomial regression analysis showed that none of the personality or life-style variables predicted involvement in active accidents (hit a vehicle or an object). Whereas the number of passive accidents (hit by another vehicle) was predicted positively by "culture" and "parties and sport" life-style orientations and negatively by "home" orientation. Multiple regression analysis was conducted for DBQ errors and violations scores. Number of self-reported driving errors was related positively to BS and negatively to "social" life-style orientation. DBQ violations were predicted positively by BS and Disinhibition from the SSS, "parties and sport" and religion as life-style orientation.

These two studies helped us to identify some new factors related to risky driving. Especially masculine sex-role and life-style characterised by going to discos, interest in sports and motor vehicles seemed to be related to risky driving. These results might partly explain why young male drivers are four times more often involved in fatal car accidents than the same aged female drivers.

Scholarship 3