Safety Culture among Private and Professional Drivers in Norway and Greece: Examining the Influence of National Road Safety Culture
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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While Norway had the lowest road mortality rate in Europe in 2017, Greece had one of the worst road safety records of all EU-27 countries. The present study investigates road safety culture (RSC) as an explanation for this discrepancy by: (1) Comparing the
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While Norway had the lowest road mortality rate in Europe in 2017, Greece had one of the worst road safety records of all EU-27 countries. The present study investigates road safety culture (RSC) as an explanation for this discrepancy by: (1) Comparing the road safety behaviours among professional and private drivers in Norway and Greece, (2) Examining factors influencing road safety behaviours, focusing especially on national road safety culture, and (3) Examining the influence of road safety behaviours and other factors (e.g., demographic and work-related variables) on accident involvement. This is done by comparing survey answers of private car (N = 796) and professional drivers (heavy goods vehicles and buses) in Norway and Greece (N = 416). Results from qualitative interviews (N = 61) are also presented. We study safety behaviours hypothesized to vary according to nationality (e.g., aggressive violations), and behaviours hypothesized to vary according to the professional versus private driver dimension (e.g., seat belt use). A central objective is to examine whether the former safety behaviours are more similar among private and professional drivers within countries than among professional and private drivers across national samples, indicating common national road safety cultures among private and professional drivers in the respective countries. The results indicate that aggressive violations are more similar among private and professional drivers within the national samples, than across the national samples, while seat belt use seems to vary according to the professional versus private dimension. The results also indicate a relationship between aggressive violations and accident involvement, although other variables were more strongly correlated. Moreover, drivers’ safety behaviours were influenced by the behaviours that these groups ascribed to other drivers in their countries, indicating the existence of different national road safety cultures. The Greek RSC was characterized by more aggression and violations than the Norwegian RSC, which seemed to be characterized by a higher level of compliance and politeness. The different RSCs may perhaps shed light on the different accident records in the two countries.