Driver perceptions of the benefits of reducing their driving speed on safety, emissions, and stress and road rage
The existing literature shows driving speed significantly affects levels of safety, emissions, and stress in driving. In addition, drivers who feel tense when driving have been found to drive more slowly than others. These findings were mostly obtained from crash data analyses or field studies, and less is known regarding driver perceptions of the extent to which reducing their driving speed would improve road safety, reduce their car’s emissions, and reduce stress and road rage. This paper uses ordered probit regression models to analyse responses from 3538 Queensland drivers who completed an online RACQ survey. Drivers most strongly agreed that reducing their driving speed would improve road safety, less strongly agreed that reducing their driving speed would reduce their car’s emissions and least strongly agreed that reducing their driving speed would reduce stress and road rage. Younger drivers less strongly agreed that these benefits would occur than older drivers. Drivers of automatic cars and those who are bicycle commuters agreed more to these benefits than other drivers. Female drivers agreed more strongly than males on improving safety and reducing stress and road rage. Type of fuel used, engine size, driving experience, and distance driven per week were also found to be associated with driver perceptions, although these were not found to be significant in all of the regression models. The findings from this study may help in developing targeted training or educational measures to improve drivers’ willingness to reduce their driving speed.