Perceived Risk and Driving Behavior: Lessons for Improving Traffic Safety in Emerging Market Countries

TRANSPORTATION, TRAFFIC SAFETY AND HEALTH, pp. 37-54, Hans von Holst, Åke Nygren, Åke E. Andersson, eds., Berlin: Human Behavior, 1998

13 Pages Posted: 12 May 2011

See all articles by Donald G. MacGregor

Donald G. MacGregor

MacGregor-Bates, Inc.

Paul Slovic

Decision Research; University of Oregon - Department of Psychology

Date Written: 1998

Abstract

Very often the risks of driving are expressed in terms of the total number of deaths that occur yearly as the result of motor vehicle operation. Yet, despite the thousands of people who die each year in automobiles in the U.S. alone, driving behavior seems relatively unresponsive to statistical portrayals of risk. Research in risk perception suggests that this apparent unresponsiveness is rooted in the manner by which risks are psychologically evaluated and judged. In general, perceptions of controllability of a hazard are a prime factor in personal assessments of its riskiness. Unfortunately, drivers appear to have an exaggerated sense of their personal control over driving situations and hazard potential, leaving them unrealistically optimistic about their chances of avoiding harm. However, emerging market countries seeking to develop better motor-vehicle risk management are cautious about drawing too heavily upon risk perception research conducted in industrialized countries with mature risk management institutions - risk as a concept appears highly conditioned on the cultural context within which it is experienced. Thus, emerging nations are encouraged to develop risk management approaches within their own cultural matrix, relying on a base of research stimulated by cross-cultural collaboration.

Suggested Citation

MacGregor, Donald G. and Slovic, Paul, Perceived Risk and Driving Behavior: Lessons for Improving Traffic Safety in Emerging Market Countries (1998). TRANSPORTATION, TRAFFIC SAFETY AND HEALTH, pp. 37-54, Hans von Holst, Åke Nygren, Åke E. Andersson, eds., Berlin: Human Behavior, 1998 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1838580

Donald G. MacGregor (Contact Author)

MacGregor-Bates, Inc. ( email )

1010 Villard Ave.
Cottage Grove, OR 97424
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(541) 942-5727 (Phone)

Paul Slovic

Decision Research ( email )

1201 Oak Street, Suite 200
Eugene, OR 97401
United States
541-485-2400 (Phone)
541-485-2403 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.decisionresearch.org

University of Oregon - Department of Psychology ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States
541-485-2400 (Phone)

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