Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Road Traffic Behaviors by Gender in Serbia

Poster Number

108

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Prevention and Community Health

Keywords

road traffic safety, Serbia, behavior change, optimistic bias, gender

Publication Date

4-2017

Abstract

Background: Road traffic injuries constitute one of the leading causes of death globally, the majority of which occur in low and middle income countries. It is important to understand the most vulnerable group of road users in order to successfully reduce the number of road traffic injuries. Gender differences are important in understanding driving patterns as optimistic bias in male youths results in a the failure to understand their own vulnerability to safety hazards. Behaviors, experiences, risk perception, and social norms surrounding road traffic safety were investigated before the implementation of a road traffic safety educational program.

Methods: Surveys were administered to 3rd and 4th graders in various types of schools across Belgrade (N=1,449). Respondents were asked questions regarding their previous experiences on the road, practice of safe road behavior, and aspects of risk perception. Responses to the surveys were stratified by gender and males (n=711) and females (n=738) were compared across these variables.

Results: Consistent with previous research, senses of false security were disproportionate across genders. Gender also was found to play a role in accuracy of risk beliefs, risk exposure, sense of false trust, and injunctive norms. Males had a greater sense of false security than females, as well as greater risk exposure and a sense of false trust Females were more likely to have accurate beliefs about road traffic behaviors as well as greater perceptions of injunctive norms.

Conclusions: These findings provide support for idea that gender is a major social determinant of road traffic safety and thus must be considered in the implementation of road traffic policy and programs. Within youth populations, males have a poorer sense of the consequences they may face for risky road traffic behavior. These findings are generalizable outside of Serbia as optimistic bias has been found in many high-risk behaviors outside of this population. Due to their greater levels of optimistic bias, male youths would most likely benefit from an educational campaign that made them aware of their risk.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

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To be presented at GW Annual Research Days 2017.

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Road Traffic Behaviors by Gender in Serbia

Background: Road traffic injuries constitute one of the leading causes of death globally, the majority of which occur in low and middle income countries. It is important to understand the most vulnerable group of road users in order to successfully reduce the number of road traffic injuries. Gender differences are important in understanding driving patterns as optimistic bias in male youths results in a the failure to understand their own vulnerability to safety hazards. Behaviors, experiences, risk perception, and social norms surrounding road traffic safety were investigated before the implementation of a road traffic safety educational program.

Methods: Surveys were administered to 3rd and 4th graders in various types of schools across Belgrade (N=1,449). Respondents were asked questions regarding their previous experiences on the road, practice of safe road behavior, and aspects of risk perception. Responses to the surveys were stratified by gender and males (n=711) and females (n=738) were compared across these variables.

Results: Consistent with previous research, senses of false security were disproportionate across genders. Gender also was found to play a role in accuracy of risk beliefs, risk exposure, sense of false trust, and injunctive norms. Males had a greater sense of false security than females, as well as greater risk exposure and a sense of false trust Females were more likely to have accurate beliefs about road traffic behaviors as well as greater perceptions of injunctive norms.

Conclusions: These findings provide support for idea that gender is a major social determinant of road traffic safety and thus must be considered in the implementation of road traffic policy and programs. Within youth populations, males have a poorer sense of the consequences they may face for risky road traffic behavior. These findings are generalizable outside of Serbia as optimistic bias has been found in many high-risk behaviors outside of this population. Due to their greater levels of optimistic bias, male youths would most likely benefit from an educational campaign that made them aware of their risk.