Adolescent road user behaviour: a survey of 11-16 year olds

M.A. Elliott, C.J. Baughan, Department for Transport (Funder)

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This study was carried out to investigate the safety related behaviour of road users aged 11-16. A self-completion questionnaire was designed to measure the frequency with which children from the target population carry out 43 different road using behaviours and a number of other variables including children's beliefs about the safety of their own road using behaviour. Two thousand four hundred and thirty three children from eleven secondary schools within England completed the questionnaire in lesson time at school. Factor analysis showed that scores on the 43 behaviour items were best represented by a three-factor solution. The three factors were named unsafe road crossing behaviour, dangerous playing in the road, and planned protective behaviour. Analysis of variance and stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that demographic variables and exposure variables had statistically significant effects on how often these behaviours were carried out. More interesting was the finding that respondents had realistic perceptions of their own behaviour as road users. The more respondents believed their road using behaviour to be unsafe and irresponsible, the more often they reported carrying out road using behaviour that was undesirable from a road safety point of view. These results and their implications for road safety interventions and further research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • transport
  • road behaviour
  • accident research
  • young people


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