Montana Department of Transportation

Malcolm “Mack” Long, Director

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Main Content

Research

Exploring Traffic Safety Citizenship

image of circle of peoples arms and hands together in the center of the circle

This final report summarizes the methods, results, conclusions, and recommendations derived from a survey conducted to understand values, beliefs, and attitudes regarding engagement in behaviors that impact the traffic safety of others. Results of the study provide a better understanding of safety citizenship behaviors and associated beliefs thus informing how to grow these beliefs in communities – thereby creating a culture that achieves greater improvements in traffic safety. A survey was developed based on an augmented integrated model of behavior and was implemented with adults age 18 and older from the U.S. using mailed and internet-based methods. About half of the people who responded to the survey indicated they had been in a situation in the past 12 months when someone was not wearing a seat belt or was reading or texting while driving. Of those who indicated they were in a situation to intervene, more than half did. They were more likely to intervene with others who were socially closer to them (e.g., family and friends) than with those more socially distant (e.g., acquaintances or strangers). Most people had favorable attitudes and beliefs about intervening. Analysis revealed that the perception of whether most people do intervene (e.g., the perceived descriptive norm) was strongly correlated with intervening behavior. Similarly, most people who responded to the survey had favorable attitudes about strategies involving policy or rules to increase seat belt use or decrease reading or typing on a cell phone while driving. Recommendations for growing intervening behaviors are provided.