How drivers perceive traffic? How they behave in traffic of Turkey and China?
Üzümcüoğlu Zihni, Yeşim
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Road traffic accidents/fatalities and driver behaviors show regional differences. It is assumed that the perceived traffic climate in a given context is closely related to driver behaviors. In the current study, this assumption was tested cross-culturally for the first time. The aim was to compare the perceived traffic climate and driver behaviors between Turkey and China. Also, the relationships between traffic climate and driver behaviors in Turkey and China were investigated. In the study, there were 292 drivers aged between 21 and 64 years from China and 294 drivers aged between 19 and 61 from Turkey. The results revealed that Turkish drivers perceived their traffic climate higher in internal requirements and lower in external affective demands and functionality than Chinese drivers. Among driver behaviors, Turkish drivers reported higher numbers of violation and lower numbers of error than Chinese drivers. Perceiving traffic climate as externally demanding was positively related to aberrant driver behaviors (i.e., violations and errors) and negatively related to positive driver behaviors in both Turkey and China. Functionality was negatively related to violations in Turkey, and internal requirements were negatively related to violations in China. In both Turkey and China, external affective demands and functionality were closely related to driver behaviors and might be critical dimensions in road traffic safety. The interventions to improve road traffic safety should be planned based on the differences among cultures. Based on the differences, it might be plausible to suggest that more functional traffic is desired to increase road safety in Turkey, whereas higher internal requirements are important to increase road safety in China.