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The role of individualism, gender and situational factors on probabilities of committing offences in a French drivers sample

  • VARET, Florent
  • Granie, Marie-Axelle
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
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Driving offences can be a cause of road crashes and their psychosocial determinants have been studied using different approaches. Recent studies have found that cultural values, transposed at individual level through the vertical-horizontal individualism-collectivism model, may be relevant for understanding offending behaviours in drivers and pedestrians. Within this framework, we propose to test these relationships in a sample of French drivers (N = 666). In addition, we aim to explore the role of situational factors and gender differences , as potential moderators for the effects of individualist and collectivist values on offending behaviours. In an online survey experiment, drivers had to evaluate their probabilities of committing several driving offences in three driving situations, manipulating traffic density level and the probability of being caught by the authorities. Statistical analyses showed that, compared to a control situation, probabilities of offending were lower in the heavy traffic condition and even lower in the high probability of being caught condition. Probabilities of offending were also higher for men than women and were positively predicted by vertical individualism. However, the main effects suggested that horizontal collectivism and vertical individualism predicted posit offences for men only, depending on situation for vertical individualism. These results were qualified by significant interactions between driving situation, gender and vertical individualism and between gender and horizontal collectivism. These findings are discussed in relation to gender differences in value expression. Perspectives to improve the relevance of the value framework mobilized, the importance to consider situational context to understand driving offending behaviours and safety implications are also discussed.

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