Evaluating the Nature of Distractive Driving Factors towards Road Traffic Accident

Khawar Khan, Syed Bilal Zaidi, Asad Ali


For past two decades many researchers have been working on quantitative as well as qualitative study of distractive driving using different approaches. Road traffic accidents have been identified as the main source of human casualties and cause of damages to the economy and society, as millions of humans is killed every year in these accidents around the world. National-level studies in Pakistan reveal that a higher percentage of males in the age group from twenty to forty years lose their lives in road traffic accidents when compared with that of females. Due to these factors, it is alarming for a society, which is highly dependent on males such as Pakistan, as these losses put numerous families into the financial crisis that lead to poverty. This study envisaged identifying whether moods and emotions play any role in road traffic accidents of young drivers. The study reviews have shown various gaps in our understanding. For this purpose, qualitative interviews of young drivers who are university going and have met some road accidents in recent years in Pakistan had been conducted. Data from the interviews had been transcribed for analysis while maintaining the anonymity of the participants for confidentiality. Analysis of the transcribed data reveals various factors that contribute to road traffic accidents where major causes are distractions, different weather conditions, sleep deprivation, unsafe lane changes, night-time driving, and these factors are triggered by the behavior when youthful drivers engage in driving for sensation seeking and self-esteem. We conclude that it is just through the appropriation of a systems approach that coordinated countermeasures can be proposed and actualized to relieve driver mistakes caused by distraction.


Drivers Mood; Sensation Seeking; Road Safety; Road Traffic Accident; Risky Driving.


Atubi, Augustus O., K. T. Gbadamosi, and N. A. Anichebe. "Global positioning, socioeconomic impact and management of road traffic accidents in Nigeria." Sustainable human development review 7, no. 1/4 (2016): 57-82.

Wang, R., J. Gong, Y. Wang, H. Chen, S. Chen, and Q. Wang. "Relationship between gross domestic product and accident in China." Journal of Safety Studies 3, no. 1 (2017): 19-26.

OECD/ECMT, “Young Drivers. The Road to Safety.” European Conference of Ministers of Transport, and United Nations. Economic Commission for Europe. OECD Publishing, Paris, (2006).

WHO, Global Status Report on Road Safety. 2018: Geneva. Available online: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/277370/WHO-NMH-NVI-18.20-eng.pdf

PBS, Traffic Accidents (Yearly). 2019: Islamabad, Pakistan. Available online: http://www.pbs.gov.pk/content/traffic-accidents-annual

Lateef, Muhammad U. “Spatial Patterns Monitoring of Road Traffic Injuries in Karachi Metropolis.” International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion 18, no. 2 (June 2011): 97–105. doi:10.1080/17457300.2010.490588.

Jooma, Rashid, and Masood Ali Shaikh. "Descriptive epidemiology of Karachi road traffic crash mortality in 2015." The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association. 68, no. 5 (2018): 376.

Peden, Margie, Richard Scurfield, David Sleet, Adnan A. Hyder, C. Mathers, Eva Jarawan, A. A. Hyder, D. Mohan, and E. Jarawan. World report on road traffic injury prevention. World Health Organization, (2004).

Andrey, J., and Richard Olley. "Relationships between weather and road safety: past and future research directions." Climatological Bulletin 24, no. 3 (1990): 123-137.

Ameratunga, Shanthi, Martha Hijar, and Robyn Norton. “Road-Traffic Injuries: Confronting Disparities to Address a Global-Health Problem.” The Lancet 367, no. 9521 (May 2006): 1533–1540. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(06)68654-6.

Damsere-Derry, James, Beth E. Ebel, Charles N. Mock, Francis Afukaar, and Peter Donkor. “Pedestrians’ Injury Patterns in Ghana.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 42, no. 4 (July 2010): 1080–1088. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2009.12.016.

Babcock, Michael W., and Philip G. Gayle. State variation in the determinants of motor vehicle fatalities. No. 1429-2016-118658. 2009.

Khan, Abdul Manan, and Ansa Tehreem. "Causes of road accidents in Pakistan." Journal of Asian Development Studies 1, no. 1 (2012): 22-29.

Ahmed, Aizaza. "Road safety in Pakistan." National Road Safety Secretariat, Ministry of Communications Government of Pakistan Asian Development Bank, Islamabad 142 (2007).

Vassallo, Suzanne, Diana Smart, Ann Sanson, Samantha Cockfield, Anne Harris, Allison McIntyre, and Warren Harrison. “Risky Driving Among Young Australian Drivers II: Co-Occurrence with Other Problem Behaviours.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 40, no. 1 (January 2008): 376–386. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2007.07.004.

Elliott, Mark A., and Christopher J. Armitage. "Promoting drivers' compliance with speed limits: Testing an intervention based on the theory of planned behaviour." British journal of psychology 100, no. 1 (2009): 111-132. doi:10.1348/000712608X318626

Rhodes, Nancy, and Kelly Pivik. “Age and Gender Differences in Risky Driving: The Roles of Positive Affect and Risk Perception.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 43, no. 3 (May 2011): 923–931. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2010.11.015.

O'Brien, Sharon Rosemary. "The psychosocial factors influencing aggressive driving behaviour." PhD diss., Queensland University of Technology, (2011).

Mesken, Jolieke, Marjan P. Hagenzieker, Talib Rothengatter, and Dick de Waard. “Frequency, Determinants, and Consequences of Different Drivers’ Emotions: An on-the-Road Study Using Self-Reports, (observed) Behaviour, and Physiology.” Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 10, no. 6 (November 2007): 458–475. doi:10.1016/j.trf.2007.05.001.

Levelt, P., Field study of emotions in traffic: questionnaire study of features such as frequency, cause, and road safety effects. (2003).

Berkowitz, Leonard. "McGraw-Hill series in social psychology. Aggression: Its causes, consequences, and control." Mcgraw-Hill Book Company (1993).

Berkowitz, Leonard. “Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis: Examination and Reformulation.” Psychological Bulletin 106, no. 1 (1989): 59–73. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.106.1.59.

Taubman - Ben-Ari, Orit. “The Effects of Positive Emotion Priming on Self-Reported Reckless Driving.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 45 (March 2012): 718–725. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2011.09.039.

Ben-Ari, Orit Taubman, Victor Florian, and Mario Mikulincer. "The impact of mortality salience on reckless driving: A test of terror management mechanisms." Journal of personality and social psychology 76, no. 1 (1999): 35.

Eherenfreund-Hager, Ahinoam, and Orit Taubman – Ben-Ari. “The Effect of Affect Induction and Personal Variables on Young Drivers’ Willingness to Drive Recklessly.” Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 41 (August 2016): 138–149. doi:10.1016/j.trf.2016.06.008.

Zuckerman, Marvin. “The Psychophysiology of Sensation Seeking.” Journal of Personality 58, no. 1 (March 1990): 313–345. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.1990.tb00918.x.

Jonah, Brian A., Rachel Thiessen, and Elaine Au-Yeung. “Sensation Seeking, Risky Driving and Behavioral Adaptation.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 33, no. 5 (September 2001): 679–684. doi:10.1016/s0001-4575(00)00085-3.

McKenna, Frank P., and Mark S. Horswill. "Risk taking from the participant's perspective: The case of driving and accident risk." Health Psychology 25, no. 2 (2006): 163. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.25.2.163.

Danaf, Mazen, Maya Abou-Zeid, and Isam Kaysi. “Modeling Anger and Aggressive Driving Behavior in a Dynamic Choice–latent Variable Model.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 75 (February 2015): 105–118. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2014.11.012.

Zhang, Tingru, and Alan H.S. Chan. “The Association Between Driving Anger and Driving Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis of Evidence from the Past Twenty Years.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 90 (May 2016): 50–62. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2016.02.009.

Hennessy, Dwight. “Social, Personality, and Affective Constructs in Driving.” Handbook of Traffic Psychology (2011): 149–163. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-381984-0.10012-8.

Fernandes, Ralston, Julie Hatfield, and R.F. Soames Job. “A Systematic Investigation of the Differential Predictors for Speeding, Drink-Driving, Driving While Fatigued, and Not Wearing a Seat Belt, Among Young Drivers.” Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 13, no. 3 (May 2010): 179–196. doi:10.1016/j.trf.2010.04.007.

Fernandes, Ralston, R.F. Soames Job, and Julie Hatfield. “A Challenge to the Assumed Generalizability of Prediction and Countermeasure for Risky Driving: Different Factors Predict Different Risky Driving Behaviors.” Journal of Safety Research 38, no. 1 (January 2007): 59–70. doi:10.1016/j.jsr.2006.09.003.

Iversen, Hilde. “Risk-Taking Attitudes and Risky Driving Behaviour.” Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 7, no. 3 (May 2004): 135–150. doi:10.1016/j.trf.2003.11.003.

Elander, James, Robert West, and Davina French. "Behavioral correlates of individual differences in road-traffic crash risk: An examination of methods and findings." Psychological bulletin 113, no. 2 (1993): 279.

Rundmo, TorbjØrn. “Associations Between Affect and Risk Perception.” Journal of Risk Research 5, no. 2 (April 2002): 119–135. doi:10.1080/136698702753499597.

Slovic, Paul, Melissa L. Finucane, Ellen Peters, and Donald G. MacGregor. “Risk as Analysis and Risk as Feelings: Some Thoughts About Affect, Reason, Risk, and Rationality.” Risk Analysis 24, no. 2 (April 2004): 311–322. doi:10.1111/j.0272-4332.2004.00433.x.

Mesken, J. "Determinants and consequences of drivers' emotions. Proefschrift Rijksuniversiteit Groningen RUG, Groningen." (2006).

Isen, Alice M. "Some perspectives on positive affect and self-regulation." Psychological Inquiry 11, no. 3 (2000): 184-187.

Fiedler, Klaus, and Herbert Bless. “The Formation of Beliefs at the Interface of Affective and Cognitive Processes.” Emotions and Beliefs (October 12, 2000): 144–170. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511659904.006.

Dalgleish, Tim, and Mick Power. Cognition and emotion: From order to disorder. New York/London: Psychology press, (2015).

Cavanaugh, Lisa A., James R. Bettman, Mary Frances Luce, and John W. Payne. “Appraising the Appraisal-Tendency Framework.” Journal of Consumer Psychology 17, no. 3 (July 2007): 169–173. doi:10.1016/s1057-7408(07)70024-4.

Hu, Tian-Yi, Xiaofei Xie, and Jie Li. “Negative or Positive? The Effect of Emotion and Mood on Risky Driving.” Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 16 (January 2013): 29–40. doi:10.1016/j.trf.2012.08.009.

Murray, Christopher JL, Alan D. Lopez, and World Health Organization. The global burden of disease: a comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries, and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020: summary. World Health Organization, (1996).

Pakistan, S.B.o., The Pakistan infrastructure report. 2009, State Bank of Pakistan: Islamabad, Pakistan. Available online: www.sbp.org.pk/publications/index2.asp

Hussain, Tabish, L. Shu, T. Sosorburan, A. Seid Adji, Ali Hassan Khan, and A. F. Raja. "Road traffic accidents: an observational and analytical study exploring the hidden truths in Pakistan and South East Asian countries." Healthline 2, no. 1 (2011): 52-57.

Khan, Adeel Ahmed, and Zafar Fatmi. "Strategies for prevention of road traffic injuries (RTIs) in Pakistan: situational analysis." Journal of College Physicians Surgeons Pakakistan 24, no. 5 (2014): 356.

Mphela, Thuso. “The Impact of Traffic Law Enforcement on Road Accident Fatalities in Botswana.” Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management 5, no. 1 (November 26, 2011): 264-277. doi:10.4102/jtscm.v5i1.77.

Afukaar, Francis K., Phyllis Antwi, and Samuel Ofosu-Amaah. “Pattern of Road Traffic Injuries in Ghana: Implications for Control.” Injury Control and Safety Promotion 10, no. 1–2 (April 2003): 69–76. doi:10.1076/icsp.

Cao, Xinyu, Susan L. Handy, and Patricia L. Mokhtarian. “The Influences of the Built Environment and Residential Self-Selection on Pedestrian Behavior: Evidence from Austin, TX.” Transportation 33, no. 1 (January 2006): 1–20. doi:10.1007/s11116-005-7027-2.

Summala, Heikki. “Risk Control Is Not Risk Adjustment: The Zero-Risk Theory of Driver Behaviour and Its Implications.” Ergonomics 31, no. 4 (April 1988): 491–506. doi:10.1080/00140138808966694.

Vaa, Truls. “Modelling Driver Behaviour on Basis of Emotions and Feelings: Intelligent Transport Systems and Behavioural Adaptations.” Modelling Driver Behaviour in Automotive Environments (2007): 208–232. doi:10.1007/978-1-84628-618-6_12.

Wilde, Gerald J. S. “The Theory of Risk Homeostasis: Implications for Safety and Health.” Risk Analysis 2, no. 4 (December 1982): 209–225. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6924.1982.tb01384.x.

Summala, Heikki. “Towards Understanding Motivational and Emotional Factors in Driver Behaviour: Comfort Through Satisficing.” Modelling Driver Behaviour in Automotive Environments (2007): 189–207. doi:10.1007/978-1-84628-618-6_11.

Fuller, Ray. “Towards a General Theory of Driver Behaviour.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 37, no. 3 (May 2005): 461–472. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2004.11.003.

Fuller, Ray. “Driver Control Theory.” Handbook of Traffic Psychology (2011): 13–26. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-381984-0.10002-5.

Fuller, R., H. Bates, M. Gormley, B. Hannigan, S. Stradling, P. Broughton, N. Kinnear, and C. O’dolan. "The conditions for inappropriate high speed: A review of the research literature from 1995 to 2006." Report under Contract Number PPRO (2008).

Fuller, R., C. McHugh, and S. Pender. “Task Difficulty and Risk in the Determination of Driver Behaviour.” European Review of Applied Psychology 58, no. 1 (March 2008): 13–21. doi:10.1016/j.erap.2005.07.004.

Alm, Håkan, and Lena Nilsson. “The Effects of a Mobile Telephone Task on Driver Behaviour in a Car Following Situation.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 27, no. 5 (October 1995): 707–715. doi:10.1016/0001-4575(95)00026-v.

Chisholm, S.L., J.K. Caird, and J. Lockhart. “The Effects of Practice with MP3 Players on Driving Performance.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 40, no. 2 (March 2008): 704–713. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2007.09.014.

Patten, Christopher J.D, Albert Kircher, Joakim Östlund, and Lena Nilsson. “Using Mobile Telephones: Cognitive Workload and Attention Resource Allocation.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 36, no. 3 (May 2004): 341–350. doi:10.1016/s0001-4575(03)00014-9.

Rudin-Brown, Christina M., and Heather A. Parker. “Behavioural Adaptation to Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC): Implications for Preventive Strategies.” Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 7, no. 2 (March 2004): 59–76. doi:10.1016/j.trf.2004.02.001.

Summala, Heikki. "Behavioural Adaptation and Drivers' Task Control." Human factors for highway engineers (2002).

Ulleberg, Pål, and Torbjørn Rundmo. “Personality, Attitudes and Risk Perception as Predictors of Risky Driving Behaviour Among Young Drivers.” Safety Science 41, no. 5 (June 2003): 427–443. doi:10.1016/s0925-7535(01)00077-7.

Byrnes, J. P. "The development of judgement and decision making in children and adolescents." In The development of self-regulated decision making (2005): 5-38.

Greene, Kathryn, Marina Krcmar, Lynda H Walters, Donald L Rubin, Jerold, and L Hale. “Targeting Adolescent Risk-Taking Behaviors: The Contributions of Egocentrism and Sensation-Seeking.” Journal of Adolescence 23, no. 4 (August 2000): 439–461. doi:10.1006/jado.2000.0330.

Turner, Cathy, and Rod McClure. “Quantifying the Role of Risk-Taking Behaviour in Causation of Serious Road Crash-Related Injury.” Accident Analysis & Prevention 36, no. 3 (May 2004): 383–389. doi:10.1016/s0001-4575(03)00031-9.

Mercer, G. William, And Wayne K. Jeffery. “Patterns of Convictions and Traffic Accident Involvement.” Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 5, no. 4 (November 1995): 463–478. doi:10.1002/cbm.1995.5.4.463.

Mittal, Vikas, and William T Ross. “The Impact of Positive and Negative Affect and Issue Framing on Issue Interpretation and Risk Taking.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 76, no. 3 (December 1998): 298–324. doi:10.1006/obhd.1998.2808.

Boyer, T. “The Development of Risk-Taking: A Multi-Perspective Review.” Developmental Review 26, no. 3 (September 2006): 291–345. doi:10.1016/j.dr.2006.05.002.







Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/cej-2020-03091567


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Khawar Khan, Dr. Syed Bilal Zaidi, Asad Ali

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.