Correlates of self-reported driving aberrations in Tehran

A study at the level of drivers and districts

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There are relatively few comprehensive studies on driving errors and violations in Iran, a non-Western country with a high traffic fatality rate. In this study, 712 drivers completed a questionnaire at technical inspection centres and carwashes in Tehran, Iran. Respondents were asked about their demographic characteristics, accident involvement, traffic fines, and driving aberrations in the form of the Driver Behaviour Questionnaire (DBQ). The results of a principal component analysis of the DBQ showed a distinction between errors and two types of violations: speeding and non-speeding violations. Correlation analyses showed that DBQ violations were associated with a higher driving mileage, a higher education level (for DBQ speeding violations in particular), and younger age. DBQ errors were associated with risk perception, that is, the belief that one has a high probability of becoming involved in a car accident. Regression analyses showed that the DBQ speeding violations score was predictive of the number of speeding tickets and that the DBQ non-speeding violations score was predictive of involvement in minor accidents in the past three years. A correlation analysis at the level of municipal districts showed that drivers from districts with lower education and literacy levels and lower car ownership were more likely to report driving a low-cost car and had lower DBQ violations scores. These results can be interpreted as indicating that affluence enables deviant driving. We conclude that the error-violation distinction is of relevance to road safety in Tehran, both at the level of individual drivers and at the level of districts.