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Title: Driver boredom : its human antecedents and behavioural consequences
Author: Heslop, Simon
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 5301
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2012
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This programme of research was designed to investigate the role of driver boredom in road safety. It aimed to determine whether driver boredom is prevalent and whether and how it mediates relationships between human factors [e.g. age, sex, personality] and driver behaviour [e.g. speed, distraction, error]. The research comprised two phases. A preliminary phase of the research explored the value of and developed a larger study. Focus group discussions were held with a sample of eight drivers and transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. The results indicated that driver boredom is likely to be prevalent, compromise road safety, and vary between individuals. This phase of research provided the foundation upon which the questionnaire used in the main phase of the study was based. The qestionnaire was used to test whether driver boredom mediates relationships between human factors and driver behaviour. The sample comprised 1,550 male and female drivers aged between 17-65+ years. The self-report questionnaire provided data pertaining to human factors, driver boredom, and driver behaviour. Results indicate that some people [specifically those younger, female, more easily bored generally, with a higher sense of time urgency, and less enthusiastic about driving] are likely to pose a higher threat to road safety, at least in part because they are more likely to suffer driver boredom. The results of this programme of research indicated that driver boredom warrants attention in efforts to understand driver behaviour and its impact on road safety. The results show that those more enthusiastic about driving are much less likely to suffer driver boredom. Because those more enthusiastic about driving are likely to be more engaged in the driving task, they are likely to have more complex knowledge relating to the task, and perceive higher levels of stimulation therein. Further research could be conducted to test whether engagement in the driving task, knowledge relating to it, and levels of perceived stimulation therein mediate relations between driver enthusiasm and driver boredom. Assuming this is the case, intervention programmes could be designed to educate people such that they drive in a more engaged style, are more knowledgeable about the driving task, and perceive higher levels of stimulation therein. Intervention programmes would need to be tested and if they could be shown to be effective, they could be used to minimise driver boredom and its negative implications for road safety.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available