Psychosocial function of driving as predictor of risk-taking behaviour.

Research paper by Mette M Møller, Nils Petter NP Gregersen

Indexed on: 25 Jan '08Published on: 25 Jan '08Published in: Accident Analysis & Prevention


This study examined the relation between risk-taking behaviour while driving, the psychosocial function of driving, leisure time activities, car oriented peer group interaction and educational attainment. Two thousand four hundred seventeen drivers aged 18-25, randomly selected from the Danish Driving Licence Register, participated in the study. Data was collected through a mail survey. The response rate was 60.4%. A positive significant effect on risk-taking behaviour based on the score on the psychosocial function of driving was found (p<0.001). A positive significant effect on risk-taking behaviour was also found based on driving related interaction with friends. Low structure/high impulsivity leisure time activities such as playing PC-games, doing body building and partying with friends were found to be related to increased risk-taking behaviour (p<0.01). Although risk-taking behaviour is generally condemned by society results show that risk-taking behaviour while driving can also be functional in the lives of the young drivers. Consequently, other motives than safety motives are at stake when engaging in risk-taking behaviour. Implications for preventive efforts are discussed.