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A STUDY OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE RULE

VIOLATION BEHAVIOUR OF DRIVERS


Mohammed Najeeb. P. M
Motor Vehicle Department,
Ministry of Transport, Kerala, India.
Mob +91 944779!41
na"eeb.blossom#$mail.com

Abs!a"
%n analysis of traffic accidents indicates that h&man factors are a sole or a contrib&tory
factor in appro'imately 9() of road traffic accidents. The present st&dy e'amined the e'tent to
*hich Type % beha+io&r pattern , ,ensation ,ee-in$ beha+io&r, propensity to a$$ression,
.ostility, %ttit&de to ,peedin$ and demo$raphic +ariables incl&din$ %$e, /'perience %nd
/d&cation ha+e an effect on +iolation beha+io&r of dri+ers. The Data *as obtained from 0((
dri+ers on standardi1ed instr&ments s&ch as Violation of 2asic Traffic 3&les scale, .ostility
scale 4MM5I6, 5ropensity to %$$ression ,cale, ,ensation ,ee-in$ ,cale 47&-erman6 Type %
beha+io&r ,cale and %ttit&de to ,peedin$ ,cale. The 3es&lt presented in this st&dy re+ealed that
there *as an effect of a$e, e'perience and ed&cation and si$nificant infl&ence of personality
traits and attit&de on +iolation beha+io&r of dri+ers.
#e$ %o!ds& Violation of 2asic Traffic 3&les, Type % beha+ior, ,ensation ,ee-in$, propensity
to a$$ression .ostility and attit&de
'. I(!od)"*o(
The 8ational 9rime 3ecord 2&rea& 3eported that, in India the n&mber of road accidents,
deaths d&e to road accidents and in"&ries d&e to road accidents is +ery hi$h and increasin$ e+ery
year. D&rin$ the year :(1(; 4, <(,(( road accidents ca&sed death of 1, <<,9<! persons and
in"&red 4, 7(,(( h&man bein$s. It is estimated that the co&ntry loses aro&nd 70( billion 3&pees
4=17 billion6 per year d&e to road traffic accidents, *hich is :>< per cent of the $ross domestic
prod&ct 4,i-dar ? 2ha+sar, :((96. Violation of traffic r&les is an important factor behind traffic
accidents and many li+es co&ld be sa+ed if all dri+ers complied *ith the r&les. This present
pro"ect is aimed at e'plorin$ the e'tent to *hich the psycholo$ical factors affect +iolation
beha+io&r of traffic r&les amon$ the dri+ers.
'.'. Pe!so(a+*$, A*)de a(d V*o+a*o(s
,elf>reported +iolations, defined as the deliberate infrin$ement of some re$&lated or
socially accepted code of beha+io&r, ha+e been sho*n to predict accident rates 4@est, Arench,
Kemp, ? /lander, 199<6. 3eason et al. 4199(6, 5ar-er, Manstead ? ,tradlin$ 419906 concl&ded
that dri+in$ errors ori$inatin$ from ins&fficient information processin$ is a relati+ely
&nimportant ca&se of accident in+ol+ement. Bn the other hand, intentional +iolations are
important in this conte't. Violations appeared to be most stron$ly related to crashes 45ar-er,
3eason, et al., 1990; 3eason et al., 199(6. Aor*ard 4:((96 reported that attit&des made the lar$est

contrib&tion for dri+in$ +iolations. The ,t&dies of .atfield and Cob 4:((6 and Trantera and
@arnb 4:((!6 indicated a si$nificant relationship bet*een attit&des to speedin$ and speedin$
+iolations.
Dahlen and 3a$an 4:((46 and Deal, 8erida and 5achana, 8ancy 4:((96 indicates an
increase in +iolation beha+io&r *ith propensity to a$$ression. 3ebecca Dancaster and 3achel
@ard 4:((:6 fo&nd that, a$$ressi+e dri+ers, or those *ith a red&ced capacity to mana$e or
control hostility, tended to be in+ol+ed in more traffic accidents. ,ensation>see-in$ is
consistently lin-ed to ris-y dri+in$ beha+io&r in empirical research 4Conah, 19976. ,ch*ebel et
al, 4:((6 reported sensation see-in$ also emer$ed in a m&lti+ariate analysis predictin$ one
meas&re of self>reported dri+in$ +iolations. 3ichard Tay, 5hilip 9hampness and 2arry @atson
4:((<6 e'amined the infl&ence of sensation see-in$ and Type>% beha+io&r pattern on speedin$
beha+io&r and reported that self>reported speedin$ beha+io&rs *ere positi+ely correlated *ith
both personality traits. Dri+ers *ith type % beha+io&r pattern typically ha+e stron$ need to $et
from point % to point 2 E&ic-ly and to $et ahead of others in the traffic flo* 4@est et al, 199<6.
Doc&s of control 4DB96 is one of the most cr&cial psycholo$ical factors determinin$ a dri+erFs
beha+io&ral adaptation. .olland, Gera$hty and ,hah 4:(1(6 fo&nd that e'ternally oriented
persons are more li-ely to be in+ol+ed in car accidents, as they *o&ld ta-e fe*er preca&tions to
pre+ent road accidents.
'.-. A.e, e/0e!*e("e a(d ed)"a*o(
@illemsen et, al. 4:((!6 reported that older dri+ers and female dri+ers tend to ha+e lo*
le+els of DDDI dimension *hich is consistent *ith international literat&re, s&$$estin$ that
dri+ers seem to become more la* abidin$ and display a tendency to ta-e lesser ris-s *hen they
$ro* older. The ris- of in+ol+ement in crash seems to depend &pon the dri+ersF a$e. The yo&n$
41! to :06 and the elderly are 40+6 at ris-. .o*e+er, *ith re$ards to accident ca&sation, it
seems that yo&n$ dri+ers are more li-ely to commit +iolations, and the elderly to be more prone
to slips and lapses 45ar-er et.al, 199:6. Machin and ,an-ey 4:((!6 ha+e sho*n that
ine'perienced dri+ers &nderestimate the ris-s associated *ith a ran$e of dri+in$ sit&ations. The
ma"ority of a$$ressi+e dri+ers *ere poorly ed&cated 43ebecca Dancaster and 3achel @ard,
:((:6.
3e+ie*s of literat&re sho*s factors determinin$ this -ind of beha+io&r incl&de attit&des,
personality and demo$raphical +ariables li-e a$e, e'perience, and ed&cation. The aim of this
st&dy *as to in+esti$ate the psycholo$ical factors and demo$raphic +ariables of dri+ers
infl&encin$ traffic r&le +iolations. Traffic +iolations ha+e been described as a common form of
la* brea-in$ fo&nd to predict road accidents.
-. Mehods
The descripti+e s&r+ey research desi$n *as follo*ed to e'amine the +iolation beha+io&r
of traffic r&les of dri+ers and its relationship *ith +ario&s personality traits, attit&des to speedin$
and demo$raphic +ariables s&ch as a$e, e'perience and ed&cation. 9omprehensi+e standardi1ed
E&estionnaires meas&rin$ the +ario&s dimensions *ere administered to the tar$eted respondents
to elicit the reE&ired data. % set of -ey psycholo$ical +ariables +i1, hostility, propensity to

a$$ression, sensation see-in$, Type % beha+io&r pattern, loc&s of control and attit&de to
speedin$ *ere tested as predictors of +iolation beha+io&r of traffic r&les of motor +ehicle dri+ers.
A&rther, the three personal factors>s&ch as a$e, e'perience and ed&cation le+el> *ere also tested
for their infl&ence on dri+in$ beha+io&r.
% sample of 0(( dri+ers *as selected from list of dri+ers of 1( Dicensin$ %&thorities of
the state randomly, and reE&ests *ere sent to them reE&estin$ them to participate in this hi$hly
rele+ant research. ,ample selected are male dri+ers of +ario&s +ehicles, a$ed abo+e 1! years to
4 and abo+e, ed&cation from 7
th
standard to $rad&ate le+el. ,ample ha+in$ e'perience of 1 to :(
years and abo+e has been selected.
% facin$ sheet *ith instr&ctions filled in by all participants re+eals their ran$e of a$e,
e'perience in dri+in$ and ed&cation le+el. Violation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les *as
assessed *ith the scale adapted from Veysel Hilma1, .. /ray Ieli- 4:((6. 5ersonality *as
assessed *ith E&estionnaires on loc&s of control 43otter, 196, sensation see-in$ scale
47&c-erman>K&hlman personality E&estionnaire; 7&-erman et al, 199<6, Type>% beha+ior by
J2ortnerFs ,hort 3atin$ ,cale of 5attern % 2eha+io&rK, .ostility scale adapted from Minnesota
M&ltiphasic personality in+entory, and 5ropensity to %$$ression scale from @atson 4:((76
adapted from the dri+er beha+io&r E&estionnaire 43eason et al., 199(6. %ttit&de to speedin$ *as
assessed &sin$ the scale adapted from standardi1ed speedin$ beha+io&r scale of 5atric- De
5elsmac-er and @im Canssens 4:((6.The statistical techniE&es &sed for the analysis of the data
for the present st&dy are one>*ay %8BV%; post .oc 4D&ncan test6, 5earson 9orrelations, and
M&ltiple linear 3e$ression.
1. P!ob+em
In this st&dy, the in+esti$ator attempts to e'plore the effect of +ario&s psycholo$ical and
demo$raphic factors on +iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic Lr&les. The aim of this st&dy *as to
+erify the effect of demo$raphic +ariables s&ch as a$e, e'perience and ed&cation and the
relationship and the infl&ence of psycholo$ical +ariables incl&din$, sensation see-in$, type %
beha+io&r pattern, hostility, e'ternal loc&s of control, propensity to a$$ression and attit&de
to*ards speedin$ on the +iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les.
2. Res)+s a(d d*s")ss*o(
3es&lts of the present in+esti$ation sho*ed, in self>reported +iolation beha+io&r of traffic
r&les, only 1.! ) dri+ers scored lo* 4belo* :0)6, :<. ) scored moderate 4:0) to 0()6, .4)
scored hi$h 4abo+e 0() &p to 70)6 and !.:) dri+ers *ho responded *ere fo&nd to be +ery hi$h
4abo+e 70) scores6 in +iolation beha+io&r. /ffect of demo$raphic +ariables, relationship and
infl&ence of psycholo$ical +ariables are analysed in follo*in$ section.
2.'. E33e" o3 demo.!a0h*" 4a!*ab+es&
Age: 3es&lts of %8BV% cond&cted for +iolation beha+io&r of traffic r&le *ith a$e
$ro&ps sho*ed there *ere si$nificant differences 4A
4<,496
M 4.9; pN (.(16 in +iolation
beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les bet*een a$e $ro&ps. 5ost hoc comparisons confirmed the
yo&n$est a$e $ro&p of dri+ers 41!>:0 a$e $ro&ps, MM<:.74, SDM7.(:<6 sho*ed si$nificant

difference in +iolation beha+io&r of traffic r&les *ith all other $ro&ps. This $ro&p *as hi$hest in
+iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les.
Experience: The res&lt sho*ed there *ere si$nificant differences in +iolation beha+io&r
to*ards traffic r&les amon$ dri+ers *ith differences in e'perience 4A
4<,496
M 7.:1; pN.(16.
Ma'im&m mean score in +iolation beha+io&r 4MM <<.<; SDM !.:9!6 fo&nd in the $ro&p *ith
abo+e :( years of e'perience and post hoc analysis re+ealed there *as si$nificant +ariance *ith
ne't lo*er $ro&p of 1( to :( yearsF e'perience 4M= :!.!(, SDM7.<:6. The more e'perienced
$ro&p sho*ed hi$h +iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les.
Education:The res&lts sho*ed there *ere si$nificant differences in displayin$ +iolation
beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les amon$ $ro&ps of dri+ers *ith differences in ed&cation 4A
4:,4976
M
0.0(; p 5 (.(16. 5ost hoc follo* &p test indicated the $ro&p *ith 1: yearsF schoolin$ 4M, <<.1:;
SD, .<6 *as sho*ed si$nificant difference 4hi$her6 in +iolation beha+io&r *hen compared *ith
the $ro&p *ith 7 to 1( yearsF schoolin$ and the $rad&ate $ro&p.
2.-. Re+a*o(sh*0 o3 V*o+a*o( Beha4*o)! 6*h Ps$"ho+o.*"a+ 3a"o!s
Opon e'aminin$ the relations of +iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les *ith
psycholo$ical +ariables st&died, it *as fo&nd that attit&de to*ards speedin$ sho*ed hi$h positi+e
correlation 4r=.4(1, pN(.(16 *ith +iolation beha+io&r. 5ropensity to a$$ression4r=.<0!, pN(.(16
and sensation see-in$ beha+io&r 4r=.<44, pN(.(16 sho*ed moderate positi+e correlation *ith
+iolation beha+io&r. Type % beha+io&r pattern 4r=.:77, pN(.(16 and hostility 4r=.:(<, pN(.(16
*ere also sho*ed si$nificant positi+e correlation *ith +iolation beha+io&r. /'ternal loc&s of
control sho*ed si$nificant ne$ati+e correlation4rM >.101, pN(.(16 *ith +iolation beha+io&r of
traffic r&les.
2.1. I(3+)e("e o3 0s$"ho+o.*"a+ 4a!*ab+es
3e$ression analysis fo&nd attit&de to*ards speedin$ 4 = (. :77, t M .04!, pN(.(16,
sensation see-in$ beha+io&r 4 = (.10(, t M <.174, pN(.(16, propensity to a$$ression 4 = (.1<!, t
M :.!91, pN (.(16 and type % beha+io&r pattern 4 = (.(9, t M :.::<, pN(.(06, *ere better
predictors of +ariance in +iolation beha+io&r of traffic r&les. /'ternal DB9 4 =(.(:<, t M .044,
PP(.(06 and hostility 4 = (.(09, t M 1.410, pP(.(06 *ere fo&nd not contrib&tin$ to si$nificant
+ariance in +iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les. The present in+esti$ation re+ealed that
amon$ the psycholo$ical dimensions st&died, attit&de to*ards speedin$ emer$ed as the stron$est
sin$le predictor of +iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les follo*ed by sensation see-in$
beha+io&r, propensity to a$$ression and Type % beha+io&r pattern and e'plained total :4.0 )
+ariance in +iolation beha+io&r of traffic r&les.
7. D*s")ss*o(
7.'. Demo.!a0h*" 4a!*ab+es
The present in+esti$ation sho*ed that the yo&n$est a$e $ro&p of dri+ers 41!>:0 a$e
$ro&ps6 *as hi$her in +iolation beha+io&r of traffic r&les, Most of the similar pre+io&s st&dies
are also in line *ith this findin$. Aindin$s sho*s the dri+ers *ith more e'perience in dri+in$ *as
hi$h on +iolation beha+io&r of traffic r&le. 5ossessin$ more dri+in$ e'perience can lead to
optimi1ation of dri+in$ beha+io&r, ens&re more consistent, more acc&rate, more rapidly

performed, more effortless, and more a&tomatic dri+in$. Dri+ers from e+ery s&ccessf&l trip
acE&ire confidence to bend r&les *itho&t e'pectin$ any ne$ati+e o&tcomes. The res&lt sho*s
that the moderately ed&cated *ere hi$her in +iolation beha+io&r. International literat&re reported
ed&cation le+el does not ens&re positi+e chan$e in dri+in$ beha+io&r and in some reported more
ed&cated *ere hi$her in traffic +iolations.
7.-. Hos*+*$ a(d Lo")s o3 Co(!o+
The res&lts of the present st&dy fo&nd positi+e correlation *ith hostility and +iolation
beha+io&r of traffic r&les. .o*e+er hostility did not emer$e as a si$nificant predictor of +iolation
beha+io&r in this st&dy. 5re+io&s st&dy s&$$ests that dri+ers *ho belie+e o&tcomes are controlled
by e'ternal forces 4e'ternal DB9, e.$., e+ents controlled by fate, not self6, may be less li-ely to
chan$e beha+io&r in response to o&tcomes than those *ith internal DB9, *ho percei+e o&tcomes
to be dependent on their o*n s-ill, efforts or beha+io&r 4@al-er, ,tanton ? Ho&n$, :((!6. The
*ea- b&t si$nificantly ne$ati+e correlation of e'ternality in the present st&dy also s&$$ests lo*
red&ction in +iolation beha+io&r *ith increase in e'ternality and this is in line *ith pre+io&s
findin$s. M&ltiple re$ression of the present st&dy re+ealed that e'ternal loc&s of control *as not
a statistically si$nificant predictor of +iolation beha+io&r of traffic r&les.
7.1. A*)de o6a!ds S0eed*(.
In the present st&dy the positi+e attit&de to*ards speedin$ emer$ed as a stron$ and
si$nificant predictor of +iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les. ,e+eral st&dies ha+e ill&strated
the importance of in+esti$atin$ dri+er attit&des and beliefs in relation to ris-y dri+in$. Aor*ard
4:((96 reported that attit&des made the lar$est contrib&tion for dri+in$ +iolations. The res&lt of
the m&ltiple re$ression analysis of the present st&dy also fo&nd that a positi+e attit&de to*ards
speedin$ si$nificantly predicts the +iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les. These res&lts
indicate the si$nificant infl&ence of attit&de to*ards speedin$ in +iolation of traffic r&les. .ence,
any attempt to impro+e obedience to traffic r&le has to address the specific attit&des. 3oad safety
campai$ns and trainin$s sho&ld consider chan$e in attit&de for s&stainable chan$e in +iolation
beha+io&r.
7.2. Se(sa*o( see8*(.
,ensation see-in$ propensity has also been fo&nd in the literat&re to relate positi+ely
*ith accident in+ol+ement and traffic +iolations. The res&lt of the present st&dy also indicates
increase in +iolation beha+io&r *ith sensation see-in$ beha+io&r. ,ch*ebel et al, 4:((6 reported
sensation see-in$ also emer$ed in a m&lti+ariate analysis predictin$ one meas&re of self>reported
dri+in$ +iolations. The re$ression analysis of the present st&dy also confirmed, that sensation>
see-in$ beha+io&r is a si$nificant predictor of the +iolation beha+io&r of traffic r&les. 9o&nter
meas&res a$ainst +iolations beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les sho&ld consider the infl&ence of
sensation see-in$ beha+io&r and the methods to chan$e this dan$ero&s beha+io&ral trait for
effecti+eness.
7.7. P!o0e(s*$ o A..!ess*o(
In line *ith pre+io&s research res&lts, the res&lt of the present st&dy fo&nd a positi+e
correlation indicates an increase in +iolation beha+io&r *ith propensity to a$$ression. The res&lt

of the re$ression analysis of the present st&dy re+ealed that, propensity to a$$ression *hile
dri+in$ *as a si$nificant predictor of the +iolation beha+ior to*ards traffic r&les. ,imilar st&dies
also reported the infl&ence of propensity to a$$ression in +iolation beha+io&r of dri+ers. This
information has important implications in effecti+e and s&stainable co&nter meas&res a$ainst
+iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&le.
7.9. T$0e A 0e!so(a+*$
3es&lt of the re$ression analysis of the present st&dy fo&nd, Type % personality predicts
the +iolation beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les. Dri+ers *ith type>% personality *ere fo&nd to ha+e
hi$her rates of traffic +iolations, ta-e more ris-s, dri+e more erratically and reported hi$her
incidents of a$$ressi+e dri+in$. 3es&lts in similar research reported that, dri+ers *ith Type>%
personality *ere fo&nd to ha+e hi$her rates of traffic +iolations crashes, they *ere fo&nd to ta-e
more ris-s, dri+e more erratically and report hi$her incidents of a$$ressi+e dri+in$ and speedin$.
The res&lt of the re$ression analysis of the present st&dy also confirmed the findin$s of similar
research res&lts. Type % personality has si$nificant infl&ence on the +iolation beha+io&r to*ards
traffic r&les and this -no*led$e has si$nificant implication in road safety co&ntermeas&res.
9. Co("+)s*o(
The res&lt of this st&dy concl&ded, that there *ere si$nificant effects of a$e, e'perience
and ed&cation on +iolation beha+io&r of traffic r&les. There *ere si$nificant relationships of
psycholo$ical +ariables on +iolation beha+io&r. The res&lt confirms, o&t of the si' psycholo$ical
factors tested as predictor +ariables, attit&de to*ards speedin$, sensation see-in$ beha+io&r,
propensity to a$$ression and type % beha+io&r pattern *ere pro+ed to be predictin$ the +iolation
beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les si$nificantly and o+erall e'plained :4.0 ) +ariance in +iolation
beha+io&r to*ards traffic r&les. This findin$ has hi$h rele+ance and si$nificant implications in
f&t&re road safety and dri+er beha+io&r inter+entions.

AC#NO%LEDGEMENTS
My hearty than-s to my professor Dr ,. ,&bramanian, psycholo$y Department, 2harathiar
Oni+ersity *ho al*ays enco&ra$ed me. My head of the department ,ri 5.Vi"ayanand I5,, .onQ
Transport commissioner *ho permitted me *itho&t any f&rther thin-in$, than- yo& sir. The data
for this st&dy collected *ith the help of officers of Kerala motor +ehicles department, my sincere
$ratit&de to all of them. IMB2, .asselt. Oni+ersity, al*ays sho*ed faith and confidence in me
and s&pported me, I am al*ays than-f&l to all in IMB2.
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