About this Research Topic
Driving is important at all ages to achieve and maintain autonomy and independence. It is also a complex task that draws on a variety of cognitive and decisional processes. These processes can change across the life course, and how these processes change can influence driving behaviour and safety on the road. Reason et al.’s (1990) taxonomy provides a useful theoretical model for understanding risky driving behaviors, particularly how they outline three categories of aberrant behaviors which relate to different cognitive and decisional processes:
a) Errors, consisting in the failure of planned actions to achieve their intended consequences (e.g., braking too quickly on a slippery road) and largely representing information-processing deficits;
b) Lapses, consisting in failures of attention and memory (e.g., attempt to drive away from traffic lights in third gear);
c) Violations, deriving from conscious and deliberate decisions to deviate from rules or safe driving practices (e.g., decide to do not stop at the red light).
Despite a host of research on driving, the number of car-related accidents remains high and preventative strategies are only partially successful. With the number of individuals on the roads increasing due to economic factors (e.g. early access to relatively low-cost vehicles for young drivers) and increased life span, it is necessary to deepen our understanding of the importance of individual and environmental characteristics in relation to unsafe driving at different ages.
This Research Topic welcomes theoretical and empirical contributions that focus on better understandings of the role of drivers’ individual characteristics (e.g. attitudes, personality, etc.) and how these relate to driving behaviors, as well as, to the deliberate choice to enact risky behaviors when behind the wheel.
We are also interested in evaluating the role of age, cognitive status (for e.g. mild cognitive impairment) and driving experience in aberrant behaviors behind the wheel (i.e. violations, errors and lapses). Considering that risk taking behavior, as well as cognitive demands, are modulated by driving environment, for example rural or urban, we also welcome contributions exploring the interplay between environment and aberrant driving behaviours.
Finally, this Research Topic welcomes contributions on the protective factors (e.g. habits, individual and environment characteristics, experiences, etc.), as well as the potential interventions aimed to reinforce safe driving in individuals with different experience, age, and individual characteristics. We also welcome various theoretical perspective and methodological approaches, ranging from survey to research conducted in (quasi-) experimental or field settings.
Keywords: Driving, Age, Personality, Violations, Errors, Lapses, Protective Factors
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