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Young Drivers and Their Passengers: Crash Risk and Group Processes
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Unga förare och deras passagerare : Olycksrisk och grupproceser (Swedish)
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.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 467Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 135
Keyword [en]
Young drivers, passengers, crash risk, group processes
Keyword [sv]
Unga förare, passagerare, olycksrisk, grupprocesser
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17090ISBN: 978-91-7393-766-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-17090DiVA: diva2:201771
Public defence
2008-12-12, Key 1, Hus Key, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-03-05 Created: 2009-03-05 Last updated: 2014-09-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Young drivers: Reduced crash risk with passengers in the vehicle
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young drivers: Reduced crash risk with passengers in the vehicle
2008 (English)In: Accident Analysis and Prevention, ISSN 0001-4575, E-ISSN 1879-2057, Vol. 40, no 1, 341-348 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies have shown that the effect of passengers on accident propensity among young drivers is ambiguous—in some cases positive and some negative. In Sweden, various kinds of information are compiled in registers, including a national accident database and exposure data collected in a national investigation of the driving habits of license holders. Access to such data offers a good opportunity to study crash risks related to driving with and without passengers. This was done for drivers in three different age groups (18–24, 25–64 and >65 years) accompanied by one, two or three or more passengers. Differences in crash risk were estimated using incidence density ratios (IDRs) and 95% confidence intervals. The results show that passengers had an overall protective effect, that is, the crash risk was higher for those who drove alone, regardless of their age or gender. This protective effect increased with every extra passenger (up to eight), indicating that the more passengers in the vehicle, the safer the driving. The influence of passengers was weakest (albeit still positive) among the youngest drivers (ages 18–24 years), especially the males in that group. The protective impact showed the same pattern on all days of the week, but was most marked from Friday to Sunday for most of the drivers, regardless of age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier, 2008
Keyword
Passengers, Crash risk, Young drivers, Gender
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17084 (URN)10.1016/j.aap.2007.07.001 (DOI)000253346500042 ()
Available from: 2009-03-05 Created: 2009-03-05 Last updated: 2014-01-21Bibliographically approved
2. Young male drivers’ accident patterns with and without passengers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young male drivers’ accident patterns with and without passengers
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Compared to other age groups, young drivers are overrepresented in road crashes. However, it is not only those drivers who are affected, their passengers constitute about one-third of the annual fatalities and injuries in such accidents. Therefore, to be able to develop measures aimed at increasing traffic safety, it is important to understand the circumstances surrounding crashes that involve young people driving both with and without passengers in the vehicle. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the circumstances of road crashes differ for young males driving in the presence and the absence of passengers. The following crash circumstances were considered: consequences, time of day, day of the week, daylight or darkness, single- or multi-vehicle incident, traffic environment, and posted speed limit. The results showed that the crash circumstances for young male drivers varied depending on the number of passengers in the vehicle. Compared to driving alone, the presence of passengers was more extensively associated with single-vehicle crashes that occurred in the evening or at night, on weekends, in rural areas, and on roads with higher speed limits.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17086 (URN)
Available from: 2009-03-05 Created: 2009-03-05 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically approved
3. Passenger Influence on Young Drivers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Passenger Influence on Young Drivers
2003 (English)In: Driver Behaviour and Training, Lisa Dorn (ed.) / [ed] Lisa Dorn, 2003, 191-199 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Several studies have analysed the relationship between carrying passengers, speed and accident involvement but few studies have analysed the process behind how young drivers are influenced by passengers whilst driving. This paper reports a quasi-experimental study with an instrumented car equipped with different instruments measuring speed, g-forces, distance ahead etc. Inside the car video cameras and microphones had been installed to record conversations and actions. 12 drivers drove a pre-planned route twice, once with passengers and once without. The results showed that the passengers put drivers under pressure to do different dangerous actions, but in most cases the driver resisted this pressure. The mean values for speed were higher when driving alone than driving with passengers. However, the differences were not significant. Findings are interpreted with reference to the characteristics of the subjects selected for this study.

Series
Human Factors in Road and Rail Transport
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17087 (URN)0-7546-3835-9 (ISBN)978-0-7546-8888-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2009-03-05 Created: 2009-03-05 Last updated: 2013-11-08Bibliographically approved
4. Group dynamics and cohesiveness among young drivers and their passengers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Group dynamics and cohesiveness among young drivers and their passengers
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.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17088 (URN)
Available from: 2009-03-05 Created: 2009-03-05 Last updated: 2010-06-14Bibliographically approved

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