Self-reports of safe driving behaviors in relationship to sex, age, education and income in the US adult driving population

Accid Anal Prev. 2001 Jan;33(1):111-6. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(00)00021-x.


This study analyzed the data of a health and safety survey conducted on a representative sample of the adult driving population. The analysis focused on the relationships between self-reported safe driving behaviors (including belt use, observing speed limits, and abstaining from drinking and driving), and demographic characteristics (including sex, age, education and income). The results showed that the three behaviors are quite independent of each other, and, contrary to some stereotypes, there is no single high-risk group that is most likely to violate all three safe driving behaviors. The only consistent effect was that of sex: women reported higher observance rates of all three behaviors. Reported use of safety belts increases with age and education for both men and women. However while for women the reported use increases with income, for males the reported use does not change with income. Complete avoidance of drinking and driving was reported by most drivers in all groups, and the high rates hardly varied across the different age, education, and income groups. The number of people who reported that they observe the speed limit all the time increased with age, but decreased with increasing education and income. The results have implications for identifying violation-specific high-risk groups, and stressing different factors for each.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Seat Belts
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States