National correlates of self-reported traffic violations across 41 countries

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Less developed countries are overrepresented in traffic accidents, but knowledge on national differences in aberrant driving behaviours is scarce. This study investigated relationships between traffic violations measured with a 7-item Driver Behaviour Questionnaire and traffic accident involvement for an international crowdsourced sample. At the level of respondents (N = 6006), self-reported violations correlated moderately with self-reported accidents (Spearman ρ = .26). At the national level (N = 41), self-reported non-speeding violations (a composite consisting of three types of aggressive violations, tailgating, and using a mobile phone without a hands-free kit) correlated strongly with road traffic death rate per population (ρ = .77) and with developmental status (ρ = - .79), whereas self-reported speeding violations (a composite of speeding on a motorway and on a residential road) did not (ρ = - .08 and .22, respectively). Moreover, self-reported non-speeding violations correlated strongly with mean annual temperature (ρ = .58), while self-reported speeding violations did not (ρ = - .16). These cross-national correlates of traffic violations can be explained by developmental factors that lead to violation-provoking traffic situations or by the effect of temperature on aggression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Aggression
  • Driving behaviour
  • Driving style
  • Traffic psychology
  • Violations

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