Behaviour

Information related to driver behaviour.

Driver Attitude and Automated Enforcement

Red Light Camera SignPerhaps the most effective way to improve road safety is by improving road user attitude. If selfish and unsafe behaviours can be shown as detrimental and users convinced to choose what is beneficial on their own reaching our Vision Zero targets have a better chance of being successful. Some people are willing to change their outlook when it makes sense to do so, but we also share the road with those who are not willing.

Setting a Bad Example for Others

Exclamation Mark SignIt's not nice to take vicarious pleasure from the troubles of other drivers, but sometimes I can't help myself. Yesterday I found myself #3 in line waiting for a red light to turn green at an intersection. The vehicle in front of me was a shiny Porsche Boxster convertible driven by a mature male. The light turned green and he stalled it.

RESEARCH - Children May Not Detect Approaching Vehicles

school crossing & guardAs drivers, we tend to think that if we can see pedestrians, they can see us, especially during the day. This may not be the case with children if we are driving at speeds of more than 30 km/h. This is also the speed above which the chance of significant injury or death begins to be much higher for pedestrians who are struck by vehicles. We recognize this by posting a speed limit of 30 km/h in school and playground zones, but it could be a good reason to do the same on non-collector residential streets.

Some People Still Don't Wear Their Seatbelt

SeatbeltOver my lifetime so far, I've gone from a child who rode on a foam mattress in the back of our family station wagon on summer road trips to a grandfather who would not dream of driving anywhere without grand daughters safely buckled up in proper child restraints. Needless to say, wearing my own seatbelt has become a reflex action. I'm uncomfortable if I don't wear it and don't notice it when I do.

READING - Travel Time Savings and Speed: Actual and Perceived

This report, dated May 2017, produced for the New Zealand Transport Agency. It aimed to understand time saving as a motivation for New Zealand drivers’ speeding in the context of other motivations for speeding, and to investigate the effect of education that aimed to improve participants’ understanding of the costs and benefits of speeding. Findings support the conclusion that drivers’ attitudes towards speeding may be changed through the provision of information on the costs and benefits of speeding. They do not allow definitive conclusions to be drawn about the extent attitudinal change results i n behaviour change.

Drivers Make Two Kinds of Mistakes

stop signI watched a woman run a stop sign the other day while I was out for a walk. I knew that this was a route that she traveled often and she should be familiar with stopping there. I could see that she was checking around her as she approached the T intersection so I'm going to assume that she was in a hurry and made the conscious decision to slow down instead of stop.

We've Got a Serious Attitude Problem

Road RageSometimes when I read articles on road safety I come across one that really resonates with me. A story from 2008 written by Paul Hergott titled Drivers Need to Smarten Up When Out on the Road is one of them. Paul starts off by saying "We’ve got ourselves a serious attitude problem. We see driving as a right."

Very little has changed since then except perhaps that this attitude is becoming even more prevalent on our roads in 2017.

RESEARCH - Bad Drivers Don't Think They're Bad

Road RageResearch led by Dr. Thomas Brown of McGill University in Montreal suggests that "surprisingly, these drivers usually don't consider themselves as risk takers. If drivers don't believe they are risky, they will not accept the need to change. On the other hand, if we and they don't understand their behavior, how can they be expected to change it effectively?" Reported in ars technica, the study compared four groups of 19 to 39 year old male drivers and concludes that the risky driving preference appears to be a useful marker for clarifying explanatory pathways to risky driving, and for research into developing more personalized prevention efforts.

We Don't Have a Very Good Opinion of Ourselves

ExclamationA recent poll by Insights West found that 50% of Canadians feel that drivers in their city or town are worse than they were five years ago. The two top groups of bad drivers identified by three of every five of us were youth and seniors. To top it off, most of us have witnessed dangerous and illegal behaviour on our roads in the past month. Wow! Time to have a look at ourselves in the rear view mirror.

Pedestrians, Road Safety and Sidewalks

Street ProfileI grew up in a small town where there were no sidewalks unless you counted 4 sides from 3 blocks downtown. As children, we didn't pay much attention to the rule that required us to walk on the left facing oncoming traffic but we did make sure that we were on the edge or even off of the pavement when a vehicle drove by.

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