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Group dynamics and cohesiveness among young drivers and their passengers
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Safety Research, ISSN 0022-4375, E-ISSN 1879-1247Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The objective of this investigation was to analyse the relationship between group cohesiveness and performance among young drivers and their passengers. Furthermore, interactions in the vehicle were studied to classify the scope of interventions that might change driving performance. The relationship between within-vehicle interactions, cohesiveness, and driver behaviour was also investigated, and that was achieved by practical driving exercises performed by twelve young male drivers in a specially instrumented car in real traffic and with passengers. The exercises were recorded using cameras and microphones hidden in the vehicle, and the driving behaviour was measured by different instruments. The drivers also answered a cohesiveness questionnaire. The results show that high cohesiveness led to safer driving and fewer negative interactions in the vehicle. Also, the group interactions exerted both positive and negative pressure aimed at changing the actions of the drivers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17088OAI: diva2:201763
Available from: 2009-03-05 Created: 2009-03-05 Last updated: 2010-06-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Young Drivers and Their Passengers: Crash Risk and Group Processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young Drivers and Their Passengers: Crash Risk and Group Processes
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Unga förare och deras passagerare : Olycksrisk och grupproceser
Abstract [en]

The overall aim was to elucidate the effects of vehicle passengers on young drivers. This generated two specific aims and four papers. The first aim was to investigate the crash risk for young drivers with passengers and to establish whether such accidents involve any special circumstances compared to those that occur without passengers. This goal was achieved by analysing accident and exposure data from two registers. The second objective was to analyse the group processes that develop between four young men in a vehicle and to ascertain how those interactions affect driving behaviour. Those issues were addressed by performing an observational study of twelve young men driving an instrumented vehicle in real traffic with and without passengers. The interactions between the vehicle occupants were video and audio recorded, and the driving behaviour was registered in various ways.

The results show that drivers with passengers have a lower crash risk compared to those driving alone regardless of the driver’s age, although this effect is weaker for young drivers (especially males) than for other age groups. Compared to driving alone, driving with passengers for young drivers is more extensively associated with single-vehicle crashes that occur at night, on weekends, and in rural areas on roads with higher speed limits, and it leads to more severe outcomes. It has also been found that the passengers sometimes try to induce the young drivers to act in either safer or more dangerous ways, although the drivers very often resist urging and coaxing from their passengers. Cohesion is another factor that affect the driver-passenger group: a high level of cohesion, especially task cohesion, is associated with a low number of unsafe driving actions. Consequently, it seems that the presence of passengers is not enough to ensure safe driving—substantial group cohesion is also necessary for such behaviour.

Abstract [sv]

Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling var att studera passagerares effekt på unga förare, vilket genererade två delsyften och fyra delarbeten. Det första delsyftet var att undersöka olycksrisken för unga förare med passagerare och att ta reda på om dessa olyckor skedde under några speciella omständigheter. För att få svar på syftet gjordes en registerstudie där olycks- och exponeringsdata från två olika register analyserades. Det andra delsyftet var att analysera de grupprocesser som utvecklas mellan fyra unga män i en bil och att studera hur dessa interaktioner påverkar körbeteendet. Detta undersöktes med en observationsstudie där tolv unga män fick köra en instrumenterad bil i verklig trafik, både med och utan passagerare. Interaktionerna som uppstod i bilen spelades in med hjälp av videokameror och mikrofoner och körbeteendet registrerades med olika mätinstrument.

Resultatet visar att förare med passagerare har en lägre olycksrisk jämfört med förare utan passagerare oavsett förarens ålder. Denna effekt är inte lika stark för unga förare (speciellt inte unga män) som den är för övriga åldersgrupper. Unga förares olyckor med passagerare är också mer vanligt förekommande under speciella omständigheter. Jämfört med olyckor utan passagerare sker de i större utsträckning under nattetid, under veckoslut, i tätbebyggt område, på vägar med hög hastighetsbegränsning, de är oftare singelolyckor och de får mer allvarliga konsekvenser. Vidare visar resultaten att passagerare ibland, på olika sätt, försöker få den unga föraren att köra på ett annat sätt än vad de gör vilket kan betyda ett säkrare eller ett mer trafikfarligt beteende. Det verkar dock som att förarna oftast står emot dessa övertalningsförsök och förolämpningar. En annan faktor som påverkar gruppen är kohesion: en hög grad av kohesion, speciellt uppgiftskohesion, visar sig leda till färre trafikfarliga körbeteenden. Med andra ord verkar det som att blotta närvaron av passagerare inte räcker för att få ett säkert körbeteende; det behövs även en betydande grad av kohesion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2008. 101 + papers 1-4 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 467Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 135
Young drivers, passengers, crash risk, group processes, Unga förare, passagerare, olycksrisk, grupprocesser
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17090 (URN)978-91-7393-766-5 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-12-12, Key 1, Hus Key, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2009-03-05 Created: 2009-03-05 Last updated: 2014-09-18Bibliographically approved

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