National focus on individual freedom versus paternalistic values is a fundamental theme, which defines the status of traffic safety in different countries. The present study examines the role of such values in road safety culture based on survey data from car and bus drivers from three countries with distinctly different road safety records: Norway (N = 596), Israel (N = 129) and Greece (N = 386). While Norway has the highest road safety level in Europe, and Israel also performs better than the EU average, the road safety level in Greece was far below the EU average. As these positions reflect differences in policies and national regulations in drivers’ freedom to take risk, we hypothesize a higher focus on individual freedom to take risk and lower focus on paternalism among the Greek drivers. Results indicate, in accordance with our hypothesis, that the Greek drivers value freedom to take risk in traffic higher than drivers from Norway and Israel. Greek drivers also expect higher levels of risk taking from other drivers in their country, they report higher levels of risky driving themselves, and are more often involved in accidents. Thus, it seems that values have an important role in Road Safety Culture (RSC), legitimizing and motivating risky driving, which are related to accidents. We found, however, contrary to our hypotheses, that the Greek drivers also had the most paternalistic attitudes among the drivers in the three countries. In the present paper, we try to solve this Greek paradox.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour|
|State||Published - Jan 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was carried out within the project “Safety culture in private and professional transport: examining its influence on behaviours and implications for interventions” (SafeCulture), funded by the Transport 2025 program of the Research Council of Norway. Grant number: 250298.
© 2021 The Author(s)
- Road safety culture