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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PART F

Transportation Research Part F 1 (1998) 123135

Gender and age-related dierences in attitudes toward trac laws and trac violations
Dana Yagil *
Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Studies, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
Received 20 June 1998; received in revised form 18 November 1998; accepted 20 November 1998

Abstract The study examined gender and age-related dierences in drivers' normative motives for compliance with trac laws and in gainloss considerations related to driving. Two age groups of male and female students, totaling 181 respondents, completed a questionnaire measuring several normative motives for compliance with trac laws, perceived gains and danger involved in the commission of trac violations, and the frequency of committing various driving violations. The results show that younger drivers and male drivers express a lower level of normative motivation to comply with trac laws than do female and older drivers. The lowest level of perceived importance of trac laws relative to other laws was found among young male drivers. The commission of trac violations was found to be related more to the evaluation of trac laws among men and younger drivers, compared to women and older drivers. The perceived danger involved in the commission of a driving violation, however, was found to constitute much more of a factor among women than among men before the commission of trac violations. Perceived gains involved in the commission of violations were more strongly pronounced among older drivers than among younger drivers. Results are discussed concerning dierent types of attitudebehavior relationships in the context of driving. # 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Trac laws; Normative motivation; Gender; Age

1. Introduction Studies examining demographic factors relating to dangerous driving show that gender is signicant in predicting involvement in accidents; the rate of men's involvement in fatal road accidents is twice as high as women's. Furthermore, a woman's chance of getting hurt in a trac accident is 25% lower that that of a man's (Evans, 1991). Other studies show that men's involvement in road accidents is related more often than is women's to the violation of trac laws (Simon & Corbett, 1996). Specically, Storie (1977) found that whereas men were involved more
* Tel.: +972-4824-9135; Fax: +972-4824-9282; E-mail: dyagil@research.haifa.ac.il 1369-8478/99/$ - see front matter # 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S 1369-8478(9 8 ) 0 0 0 1 0 - 2

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often than women in accidents caused by speeding and driving under the inuence of alcohol, women were more frequently involved in accidents caused by judgment errors. Harre, Field, and Kirkwood (1996) found that men, more than women, engage in unsafe driving behaviors, such as driving after drinking and speeding. Age is another demographic variable frequently found to be related to risky driving. Younger drivers violate the law more often than do older drivers (Groeger & Brown, 1989; Jonah & Dawson, 1987; Parker, Reason, Manstead, & Stradling, 1995), are more involved in crashes (Evans, Wasielewski, & Von-Buseck, 1982) and suer more fatal road accidents (Arnett, 1990; Levy, 1990). Several studies have found an interactive eect of gender and age on driving behavior: Young male drivers are considered a high-risk group in regard to accident involvement (Arnett, 1990), risky driving (Groeger & Brown, 1989), aggressive driving (Simon & Corbett, 1996), violation of trac laws (Jonah & Dawson, 1987) and even parking illegally in spaces reserved for people with disabilities (Fletcher, 1995). 1.1. Attitudes toward trac laws Perception of the danger involved in the commission of trac violations has frequently been described as aecting driving behavior (Dejoy, 1992; Finn & Bragg, 1986; Matthews & Moran, 1986; Trankle, Gelau, & Metker, 1990). Driving behavior, however, is likely to be inuenced by a more comprehensive system of drivers' attitudes which is described in models of social inuence. Tyler (1990) presents a dierentiation in regard to instrumental and normative motives for compliance with the law. Instrumental motives are related to the gains and losses involved in obeying or disobeying the law. In the area of driving, losses are the danger of a road accident resulting from the commission of violations or the risk of apprehension (Shinar & McKnight, 1986). The gains involved in driving are pleasure and convenience (Arnett, 1990; Rothengatter, 1988; Rutter, Quine, & Chesham 1995). Normative motives result from the internalization of the law and the perceived legitimacy of the authorities enforcing the law (Tyler, 1990). Kelman (1961) describes reactions to inuence and dierentiates between compliance which is initiated by a desire to avoid punishment or to receive positive rewards, and the internalization of an attitude because it is perceived as coherent with reality as well as the individual's general system of values and beliefs. Compliance is achieved through control, and is expressed only in the presence of the inuence agent. On the other hand, internalization results in a long lasting eect of the attitude which does not depend on the presence of the inuence agent. 1.2. Rational choice theory explanations for gender and age inuence The rational-choice theory of oending explains crimes in terms of the costs and benets of committing violations (Cornish & Clarke, 1986) and predicts that the intention to commit illegal behavior is inversely related to the perceived costs of the act. In the area of trac violations, this explanation is suggested for gender dierences in driving behavior. Studies show that male drivers underestimate the hazards involved in various driving activities (Dejoy, 1992) and assess their driving ability more highly than do female drivers assess theirs (Dejoy, 1992; Matthews & Moran, 1986). For example, McKenna, Stanier, and Lewis (1991) found that men tended to rate their

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driving skills as better than average in all driving components, whereas such a positive bias was more limited among women. Furthermore, these attitudes toward the commission of violations are supported by social norms relating to gender. For example, Rienzi, McMillin, Dickson, and Crauthers (1996) found that adolescents considered driving after drinking to be more acceptable for boys than for girls. Yinon and Levian (1995) found that women were less aected than were men by the presence of other drivers in regard to entering an intersection before the trac light turned green. Baxter et al. (1990) found that speeding was reduced in the presence of older passengers, specially older women. Similar results were found with regard to age: compared with older drivers, young drivers give a lower evaluation to the risk involved in the commission of violations (Dejoy, 1992; Finn & Bragg, 1986; Trankle, Gelau, & Metker, 1990) and a higher evaluation to their driving ability (Matthews & Moran, 1986). Several studies examining the intention to commit trac violations with attitudes and beliefs related to the behavior found that men and younger drivers expect less negative outcomes as a result of committing trac violations, perceive more social approval of such behavior and experience less control over the behavior, compared to women and older drivers (Parker, Manstead, Stradling, Reason, & Baxter, 1992). 1.3. Normative motives for compliance with trac laws The normative perspective of obedience to the law, which has not been studied as extensively as the instrumental perspective in the area of trac laws, focuses on voluntary compliance rather than compliance as a response to external rewards and punishments. Voluntary compliance results from a belief that the legal authorities have a legitimate right to dictate behavior. This view is derived either from support of specic authority groups, such as police ocers and judges, or from one's general support of the government. Voluntary compliance might also result from a sense of personal morality and a perception of right and wrong. Accordingly, people might disobey certain laws if this is not perceived as immoral, while obeying other laws (Tyler, 1990). Although most studies of driving behavior have focused on gainloss considerations involved in driving, there is some indirect evidence that gender and age are likely to aect normative motivation for compliance with trac laws. For example, women evaluate trac violations more seriously than do men (Agostinelli & Miller, 1994; Moyano, 1997), whereas men are more angered than are women by the presence of police (Deenbacher, Oetting, & Lynch, 1994). Furthermore, studies have shown that women have more positive attitudes than men toward other areas of law. For example, McAllister (1995), examining public support for policies designed to reduce alcohol consumption, found that women were more likely to support restrictions than were men. In regard to age-related dierences in normative motivation, a study conducted with a sample of male drivers in the Israeli military revealed that older drivers have a stronger sense of obligation to obey trac laws than do younger drivers and have more positive attitudes toward trac-law enforcement by police (Yagil, 1998a,b). In summary, previous studies have identied men and young drivers as high-risk groups in regard to driving. Attitude-related explanations of these ndings concentrated on perceptions of dangers and gains involved in the commission of trac violations. The present study extends the

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examination of attitudes toward trac laws beyond gainloss considerations by focusing on normative motives for compliance with trac laws, expressed in a sense of obligation to obey laws, a positive evaluation of the content of trac laws, and ranking trac laws as important relative to other laws. The following issues were explored in regard to age and gender-related dierences: (a) the strength of drivers' normative motives for compliance with trac laws; (b) the relationships between normative motives and gainloss considerations for compliance with trac laws; (c) the moderating eect of age and gender on the relationship between attitudes toward trac laws and trac violations on the one hand, the commission of trac violations on the other. 2. Method 2.1. Subjects Respondents were students at a Northern Israeli university and at a college for adult education. The sample consisted of 43 male and 47 female respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 and 49 male and 42 female students aged 3062. Respondents ranged in the average distance they regularly drove: 48% less than 1000 km per month, 40% 10002000 km, and 12% more than 2000 km per month. Respondents were approached individually by a research assistant to complete a questionnaire, an activity which lasted 2030 min. 2.2. Measures 2.2.1. Normative motives for compliance with trac laws A sense of obligation to obey trac laws was measured with ve statements: ``It is okay to violate trac laws sometimes as long as the driver is careful''; ``There is no harm in exceeding the speed limit sometimes''; ``A good driver can allow himself or herself to exceed the speed limit''; ``When driving at night, it is all right sometimes to drive while the trac light is red as long as the driver makes sure that there is no crossing vehicle''; ``A driver should obey all trac laws, regardless of whether they seem logical or not''; ``The enforcement of trac laws should be more exible''. The answers were given on a ve-point scale (1=``absolutely wrong'' to 5=``absolutely correct''). Cronbach's alpha is 0.66. The perceived importance of trac laws relative to other laws was measured with a list of laws in ten areas: taxation, equality of employment, employees' rights, human lives, environmental issues, freedom of speech, property, experimentation with animals, copyrights, professional ethics. The respondents rated the relative importance of trac laws on a ve-point scale (1=``trac laws are denitely less important''; 3=``the laws are equally important'', 5=``trac laws are denitely more important''). Cronbach's alpha is 0.83. The evaluation of the content of trac laws was conducted with a list of 10 adjectives: ``logical'', ``important'', ``annoying'', ``exaggerated'', ``old fashioned'', ``prevent accidents'', ``unnecessary'', ``easy to comply with'', ``clear'', ``reassuring''. The respondents indicated on a ve-point scale (1=``to a very small extent'' to 5=``to a very large extent'') whether they agreed with each description of trac laws. Cronbach's alpha is 0.68.

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2.2.2. Gainloss considerations relating to trac-law violations Gains relating to trac violations were measured with a list of eight motives related to the commission of a trac violation: ``arriving quickly'', ``feeling in control'', ``getting ahead of other drivers'', ``feeling challenged'', ``achieving comfort'', ``tting in the trac'', ``adding interest to driving'', ``avoiding other drivers' anger''. The respondents were asked to indicate whether each potential gain would increase their tendency to commit a driving violation. Their answers were given on a ve-point scale (1=``to a very small extent'' to 5=``to a very large extent''). Cronbach's alpha is 0.85. The perceived danger involved in committing driving violations was assessed with 12 items that were identical to the violations used for measuring the frequency of committing violations. The answers were given on a ten-point scale (1=``not dangerous at all'' to 10=``very dangerous''). Cronbach's alpha is 0.83. For the statistical analyses, the scale was transformed into a scale of 15. 2.2.3. Self-reported commission of trac violations The frequency of committing driving violations was measured with 12 items describing these violations: ``failing to comply with a `stop' sign'', ``overtaking when prohibited'', ``failing to comply with trac light signals'', ``failing to give the right-of-way to other vehicles'', ``failing to comply with a `no entrance' sign'', ``getting o the road to bypass a trac jam'', ``exceeding the speed limit inside the city'', ``exceeding the speed limit outside the city'', ``turning at high speed'', ``tailgating (following closely)'', ``not fastening the safety belt'', ``driving under the inuence of alcohol''. The respondents indicated the frequency of committing each violation on a ve-point scale (1=``never'' to 5=``frequently''). Cronbach's alpha is 0.76. 3. Results The results are presented in two parts. The rst part employs a multivariate analysis of variance to examine gender and age-related dierences in drivers' sense of obligation to comply with trac laws, evaluation of the content of trac laws, and the perceived importance of trac laws relative to other laws. The relationships between normative motives and gainloss considerations involved in the commission of trac violations were examined with Pearson correlations. The second part concentrates on the mediating eects of age and gender on the relationship between normative motives and gainloss considerations related to compliance with trac laws on the one hand and the commission of trac violations on the other. These eects were examined with moderated regression analyses. Pearson correlations were employed to examine the relationships between attitudes and compliance within each group. 3.1. Normative motives for compliance with trac laws 3.1.1. Age and gender-related dierences Table 1 presents the means and standard deviations of drivers' attitudes toward trac laws. A MANOVA analysis was conducted with a sense of obligation to obey trac laws, perceived importance of trac laws compared with other laws, and the evaluation of trac laws as the dependent variables. The results show signicant main eects of gender (F(1,176)=4.00, p<0.01) and age (F(1,176)=4.33, p<0.01) as well as a signicant interaction eect (F(3,174)=2.90,

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Table 1 Means and standard deviations of the research variables by gender and age Women Younger drivers M A sense of obligation to obey trac laws Evaluation of trac laws Perceived importance of trac laws Perceived danger involved in the commission of violations Perceived gains involved in the commission of violations SD Older drivers M SD Total M SD Younger drivers M SD Men Older drivers M SD Total M SD Total Younger Older drivers drivers M SD M 3.31 3.53 3.66 8.33 2.11

3.44 0.69 3.51 0.64 3.47 0.66 3.06 0.72 3.23 0.74 3.15 0.73 3.29 0.73 3.74 0.46 3.49 0.50 3.61 0.50 3.34 0.61 3.57 0.61 3.46 0.61 3.52 0.59 3.35 0.58 3.62 0.67 3.50 0.64 3.27 0.75 3.70 0.67 3.50 0.73 3.30 0.68 8.19 1.43 8.52 1.43 8.38 1.41 7.68 1.30 8.11 1.30 7.92 1.30 7.95 1.39 2.21 0.66 1.99 0.73 2.10 0.69 2.44 0.86 2.22 0.75 2.33 0.78 2.31 0.74

p<=0.05). The univariate tests show a signicant main eect of age with regard to the perceived relative importance of trac laws (F(1,176)1=12.54, p<0.01): older drivers perceive the importance of trac laws more highly (M=3.66) than do younger drivers (M=3.30). Signicant main eects of gender were found with regard to a sense of obligation to obey the law (F(1,176)=11.33, p<0.01) and to the evaluation of trac laws (F(1,176)=3.77, p<0.01). The results show a signicant interaction eect with regard to the evaluation of trac laws (F(1,176)=8.60, p<0.01). The means in Table 1 indicate that women have a stronger sense of obligation to obey the law than do men (M=3.47 and M=3.15, respectively) and evaluate trac laws more positively (M=3.61 compared with M=3.46). The dierence between men and women in the evaluation of trac laws is greater among younger drivers (M=3.74 for women and M=3.34 for men) than among older drivers (M=3.49 for women and M=3.57 for men). 3.1.2. Relationships between normative motives and gainloss considerations Pearson correlation coecients presented in Table 2 show that, among women, a sense of obligation to obey the law and the evaluation of trac laws are signicantly and negatively related to perceived gains involved in the commission of trac violations. A signicant relationship was found among young women between perceived danger involved in the commission of violations and the perceived importance of trac laws. 3.2. Self-reported commission of trac violations 3.2.1. Contribution of normative motives and gainloss considerations to the prediction of the commission of trac violations Table 3 presents the results of regression analyses conducted separately for men and women and for younger and older drivers, with the self-reported frequency of the commission of trac violations as the dependent variable. The amount of variance in the dependent variable, uniquely

D. Yagil/Transportation Research Part F 1 (1998) 123135 Table 2 Pearson correlations among the research variables by gender and age A sense of obligation to obey the law Women Younger drivers Perceived danger involved in the commission of violations Perceived gains involved in the commission of violations Older drivers Perceived danger involved in the commission of violations Perceived gains involved in the commission of violations Total Perceived danger involved in the commission of violations Perceived gains involved in the commission of violations
a

129

Evaluation of trac laws

Importance of trac laws Men 0.04 Total 0.21*

Men 0.36*

Total 0.40**

Women Men Total Women 0.06 0.15 0.17 0.26*

0.33*a

0.49** 0.01

0.24** 0.34** 0.04 0.15 0.09

0.016 0.14

0.20 0.37*

0.30

0.21*

0.04

0.15

0.06

0.27

0.18 0.09

0.21* 0.14

0.44** 0.38** 0.08

0.23 0.14 0.17

0.26*

0.33**

0.31**

0.01

0.16

0.10

0.26*

0.15 0.17

0.23 0.10

0.46** 0.10

0.28** 0.15

0.16 0.13 0.17

*p<0.05; **p<0.01.

Table 3 Partitioning of variance in commission of trac violations by normative motives and gainloss considerations (values in %) Women Men Total

Younger Older Total Younger Older Total Younger Older Total drivers drivers drivers drivers drivers drivers Unique variance attributable to normative motives Unique variance attributable to gainloss considerations Variance shared by normative motives and gainloss considerations Total variance explained 2 5 8 15 7 50 10 67 2 22 8 32 15 11 6 32 10 34 14 58 6 13 11 30 9 7 12 28 5 39 13 57 4 16 12 32

attributable to normative motives and to gainloss considerations, was determined by omitting each of these groups of variables from the regression equations. The results show that, among older drivers compared to younger drivers, a total higher percentage of the variance in commission of trac violations is explained by attitudes toward trac laws and trac violations. This dierence between the age groups results from the higher percentage of the variance in the commission of driving violations explained by gainloss considerations among older drivers (39%) compared to younger drivers (7%). Similarly, a higher percentage of variance in the commission of trac violations in explained by gainloss considerations among women (22%) than among men (8%).

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3.2.2. Moderating eects of age and gender Moderated regression analyses were employed to examine the moderating eect of age and gender on the relationship between attitudes and the self-reported commission of trac violations. The regression analyses were conducted separately for each attitude with the commission of trac violations as the dependent variable. In the rst phase of the analysis, an attitude was entered, followed by a two-way interaction term (i.e.,variable age or gender) entered in the second phase, and a three-way interaction term (i.e., variable age gender) entered in the third phase of the analysis. The results, presented in Table 4, show that gender moderates the relationships between the evaluation of trac laws and perceived danger on the one hand and commission of violations on the other. Pearson correlations presented in Table 5, show that whereas the evaluation of trac laws is more strongly related to the commission of violations among men than among women, the reverse is true for perceived danger, which is more strongly related to the commission of violation among women. The results in Table 4 show that the relationship of evaluation of trac laws and perceived gains with the commission of violations is moderated by age. The correlations presented in Table 5 show that evaluation of trac laws is more strongly related to the commission of trac violations among younger drivers than among older drivers. Perceived gains involved in the commission of violations, however, are more strongly related to the commission of violations among older drivers than among younger drivers. The relationship between perceived danger involved in violation of trac laws and the selfreported commission of such violations is moderated by an interactive eect of gender and age: perceived danger is more strongly related to commission of violations among older women than among other drivers. 4. Discussion The study examined gender and age-related dierences in drivers' normative motives for compliance with trac laws and in gainloss considerations related to risky driving. The relationship of these attitudes to the violation of trac laws was also examined in regard to drivers' gender and age.
Table 4 Moderated regression analyses of the moderating regression of age and gender on the relationships between attitudes toward trac laws and the commission of trac violationsa Variable Gender A sense of obligation to obey the law Evaluation of trac laws Perceived importance of trac laws Perceived danger involved in the commission of violations Perceived gains involved in the commission of violations
a b

Variable Age 0.41 1.94** 2.44 3.54 1.66**

Variable Gender X Age 0.91 0.740 4.63 7.18* 0.80

0.53 7.66*b 4.17 6.67* 0.82

The values presented in the table are standardized regression (Beta) weights. *p<=0.05, **p<0.01.

D. Yagil/Transportation Research Part F 1 (1998) 123135 Table 5 Correlations with violations by gender and age Women Younger Older drivers drivers 1. A sense of obligation to obey the law 2. Evaluation of trac laws 3. Perceived importance of trac laws 4. Perceived danger involved in the commission of violations 5. Perceived gains involved in the commission of violations
a

131

Men Total Younger Older drivers drivers 0.21* 0.29

Total Total Younger Older drivers drivers Total

0.31* 0.14 0.08 0.07

0.39** 0.33

0.36** 0.27** 0.29**

0.09 0.05 0.41** 0.07 0.41** 0.24* 0.23 0.18

0.18* 0.35** 0.04 0.14* 0.21* 0.24* 0.30** 0.26*

0.31* 0.67** 0.48** 0.38* 0.29* 0.36* 0.40** 0.49** 0.44** 0.25 0.63** 0.44** 0.14 0.44** 0.37** 0.16 0.67** 0.40**

*p<0.05, **p<0.01.

4.1. Normative motives for compliance with trac laws Women express a more positive evaluation of the content of trac laws and have a stronger sense of obligation to comply with trac laws than do men. Thus, women believe more than men that trac laws should always be obeyed, regardless of their evaluation of the situation and are more willing to accept the legitimacy of the law and to abdicate personal decision-making as to the appropriate behavior in a certain situation. For example, women are less likely than men to exceed the speed limit even if they are convinced that it would be safe to do so. Another genderrelated dierence was found in regard to the relationship among dierent types of attitudes: among women a negative relationship was found between attitudes toward trac laws and perceived gains involved in the commission of violations. On the other hand, among men normative motives were unrelated to gainloss consideration for compliance with trac laws. A possible explanation for these gender dierences in normative motives refers to gender differences in socialization processes. The upbringing of boys is often characterized by an emphasis on independence, while girls are encouraged to be dependent and obedient (Lewis, 1986). These parental massages are likely to be generalized to the willingness to accept the inuence of trac laws. Thus women, more than men, express unquestioning compliance with such laws. Similar explanations were suggested for the dierences in men's and women's driving behavior. Several researchers explain gender dierences in general law-abiding behavior by means of diering gender-related developmental processes. Tibbetts and Herz (1996), for example, attribute such differences to dierent socialization processes; as a result of which, women are more aected by the perceived immorality of an oending action and have more self-control. Simon and Corbett (1996) suggest that gender dierences in driving behavior result from dierences in gender roles: whereas women's traditional gender-role is non-competitive and passive, and they are expected not to take risks, men are encouraged to express anger, take risks and compete, and therefore they commit more driving violations. The results regarding age dierences show that younger drivers perceive trac laws as less important than do older drivers. Younger drivers' negative attitudes toward trac laws are likely

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to be related to their objection to authorities and specially to the police authorities (Tuohy & Wrennall, 1995). Furthermore, trac laws are likely to elicit negative responses because they restrict younger drivers' need for sensation-seeking (Arnett, 1990). Gender dierences in the evaluation of trac laws are larger among younger drivers than among older drivers. Thus, younger men, who constitute a high-risk driving group are characterized more than are other drivers by a negative evaluation of trac laws. This attitude is likely to lead to a cyclic relation with the commission of violations. The evaluation of trac laws as obstructive may contribute to the commission of violations. A negative evaluation of these laws, however, might also serve as a post-factum justication for risky driving. Furthermore, such an evaluation of trac laws might be perceived as a better justication for the commission of a violation than the gains involved in risky driving. In other words, failing to comply with trac laws because they are evaluated as illogical, old-fashioned or redundant, is likely to be perceived as more moral than violating the laws for reasons related to self-interest and convenience. Moreover, the combination of a positive evaluation of trac laws and the behavior of violating trac laws is incompatible and could result in cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957). A negative evaluation of laws serves to reduce stress accompanying such an inconsistency between attitudes and behavior. 4.2. Relation of attitudes to commission of violations Whereas men evaluate trac laws more negatively than do women and have a weaker sense of obligation to comply with these laws, compliance with trac laws among men is more strongly related to the evaluation of the laws than that of women. On the other hand, compliance with trac laws among women, specially older women, is more strongly related to the perceived danger involved in the commission of violations, than that of men. A possible explanation relates to gender dierences in the estimation of driving ability. As men tend more than women to overestimate their driving ability (Dejoy, 1992) they are likely to feel more condent in complying selectively with trac laws, determining according to the situation whether a trac law is relevant, and criticizing the content of these laws. In other words, men's condence in their driving ability, is likely to result in conditional compliance with trac laws. Age also mediated the relationship between the commission of driving violations and attitudes toward trac laws: the commission of trac violations is more strongly related to the evaluation of trac laws among older drivers than among younger drivers. On the other hand, perceived gains involved in the commission of trac violations, contribute more to the prediction of commission of violations among older drivers than among younger drivers. These results imply that the rational-choice theory describing driving behavior as a product of reasoned calculations might be more relevant to older drivers than to younger drivers. Furthermore, some theories might be more suitable to the description of the attitudesbehavior relationship among younger than to that of older drivers and the reverse. For example, the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980), describing a rational relationship between attitudes and behavior, might be more relevant to account for the relationship between the attitudes and driving behavior of older drivers. On the other hand, a model describing spontaneous behavior and its relations to attitudes, such as the attitude-to-behavior process model (Fazio, 1989), might be more applicable to younger drivers.

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In summary, the results of the present study show that high-risk drivers are characterized not only by an underestimation of the dangers involved in the commission of trac violations, but also by a low level of normative motivation for compliance with trac laws. Furthermore, among high-risk drivers a low level of normative motivation consists more of a factor in the self-reported commission of driving violations than among more cautious drivers. Several issues relating to attitudes toward trac laws present future research directions. First, the relationship of attitudes toward trac laws with attitudes toward other laws has not be established. Since driving behavior was found to be related to a driver's general life-style (Jessor, 1986; Meadows, Stradling, & Lawson, 1998; West, Elander, & French, 1993), it could be argued that attitudes toward trac laws reect the individual's general position on the law in general. On the other hand, in light of the large number of otherwise law-obeying citizens who commit trac violations (Kirkham & Wollan, 1980), it is possible that trac laws represent a special section of the law that is unrelated to other attitudes. The present study, like other studies, referred to the demographic variables of age and gender, since these variables have been identied as related to risky driving. Other demographic variables, however, might also aect driving behavior. For example, socio-economic situation, and marital status, might also be related to drivers' attitudes toward trac laws, both in terms of gainloss considerations and in terms of respect for trac laws. The student population examined in the study represents a biased sample, mainly in terms of education. Further research with samples representing lower levels of education might be desirable, since ones education level itself is likely to aect driving behavior. References
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