ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Running on empty: Cultural factors and driving tired

Vick, M. (Peer reviewed)



A small scale poststructuralist study of twelve young drivers who regularly drive long distances is presented with implications for promoting road safety. The drivers were interviewed about their experiences driving and their views concerning fatigue and safety. Interviews produced (claimed) factual information about their driving practices, assertions about their attitudes and values, and narratives of their driving experiences. Interviews revealed gaps between attitudes and behaviour. Analysis shows that they constructed themselves as good drivers, and saw close relations between being good persons and good drivers. They constructed good driving as a matter of technique rather than care. They saw their long distance drives as a job to be done, and focused on timely completion of the task. Further analysis demonstrates connections between their constructions of themselves as good drivers and of ?the trip?, and broader cultural discourses that have implications for their responses to fatigue. The links between their constructions of themselves as drivers, good driving and ?the trip? allowed them to rationalize away their own risky driving and to dismiss safe driving messages. This research points to educative strategies that target the discursive processes shaping drivers? understandings of self and driving.