Charlton, S. G. (2002). Road User Interactions: Patterns of Road Use and Perception of Driving Risk. Paper presented at IPENZ Group - Technical Conference, New Zealand, IPENZ, Rotorua, 25 September, 2002.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3436
The goal of the Road User Interactions research programme is a better understanding of the human factors of our road transport system: road user demographics, risk perceptions of road users, and the driving attitudes of various road user groups. Our analysis of the 1989 and 1999 New Zealand Household Travel Surveys identified several fundamental road user differences and consistent demographic trends over the past 10 years. The driver characteristics of gender, age, and area of residence (urban, secondary urban, and rural) are the demographic factors which most clearly differentiate New Zealand road user groups. Analysis of the patterns of road use suggests that, although these road user groups do drive at distinctly different times, there are periods of conflict which are also associated with the greatest crash risk for these drivers. Our analysis of a sample of road user groups in Hamilton, Auckland, Gisborne, New Plymouth, and Palmerston North found significant differences in their perceptions of risk and driving behaviours. Rural drivers and women drivers rated a range of driving situations as having greater risk than did the other road user groups, and they rated the high risk scenarios as being much riskier. Men indicated the greatest willingness to accept the risk in driving situations and rated their own driving skill as higher. Older drivers also rated driving situations as having higher risk, and young drivers generally rated low risk situations much lower than other drivers. In the survey of driving behaviour, young men in our sample reported very high levels of violations and aggressive violations. The male drivers’ rates of violations and aggressive violations were significantly higher than the women drivers’ and the number of both decreased significantly with age. Finally, inspection of crash data show that young drivers’ and older drivers’ crashes have some characteristics in common; both groups have a disproportionate number of crossing, turning, and manoeuvring crashes at intersections in the mid-afternoon.
This paper has been presented at IPENZ Group - Technical Conference, New Zealand, IPENZ, Rotorua, 25 September, 2002. Used with permission.