Can Driver Behavior Be Traced to Gender Role, Sex and Age?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Traffic violations are deliberate deviations from safe driving rules associated with enhanced risks for crash involvement, impacted by traits and demographics. Violations tend to decrease with age, males and young drivers tend to make more violations. But some studies reported the opposite or no sex differences. We argue that part of this ambiguity can be attributed to gender role (Undifferentiated, Feminine, Masculine, and Androgynous). Previously, we showed that for a group of 527 adult drivers (mean age 29), gender role was a better predictor of violation tendency than sex. Now we extend this study by using a larger sample in three age categories (20, 21-54, and 55-65).We aim to examine whether gender role contributes to explaining violations. We distributed
a web-based survey containing self-reports of traffic violations (DBQ; Reason et al., 1990), the Bem Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI; Bem, 1974), and demographics. In total we collected 1039 questionnaires, 485 females and 554 males. We used a K-Means cluster analysis to define the gender role groups and came up with 5 meaningful clusters (Undifferentiated, Feminine, Masculine, Androgynous, and Mid). The mid group is new, and indicative of possible preconception in gender roles of the Bem inventory. We then conducted a three-way interaction model on violations. Gender role, age and sex predicted respondents’ violation tendency, and their three-way interaction was statistically significant. The masculine young males had the highest predicted DBQ violation scores. Scores decreased with age except for the older masculine males. Furthermore,
androgynous elderly males had the lowest scores. Our results show that there is value to include gender role in analysis of violations, and that this factor contributes over age and sex alone. Including gender role yielded better predictors of driver behavior than sex alone. The effect of gender role on drivers’ self-reported violation tendency is an exciting and intriguing finding which indicates the need to further examine gender role effects in driving.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Transportation
Subtitle of host publication. AHFE (2022) International Conference
EditorsKatie Plant , Gesa Praetorius
PublisherAHFE Open Access
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameHuman Factors in Transportation


  • Age, Driver behavior questionnaire, Gender, Gender role, Traffic violations


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